Disable upgrade!Developed countries can no longer secretly export plastic waste to developing countries

- May 25, 2019-

Transporting waste, especially plastic, from developed countries to developing countries has long been a subject of criticism, and more recently, legislation has finally been introduced to curb the practice.

After 12 days of discussion, on May 11, 2019, more than 1,400 representatives from about 180 countries and regions revised the Basel convention in Geneva and decided to include plastic waste in import and export restrictions.This means that "sneaking" plastic waste out of the developed world to the developing world is a thing of the past.

The new "plastic limit" measures put forward by the Norwegian, but it is worth noting that this did not get the delegates overwhelming support, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and chemical and plastic industry on behalf of the opposition, among them because the us is not parties to the Basel convention, so the whole process was not involved in the discussion of the agreement and signed.

For countries that have acceded to the Basel convention, the amendment means that "all shipments of plastic waste will not take place without the prior notice and consent of the competent authorities of the exporting, transit and importing countries", according to paxter, an expert on the Basel convention.In the case of non-parties to the Basel convention, such as the United States, the amendment would have more impact, since many Basel countries would be prohibited from accepting waste plastics from non-parties.

There are exceptions, however, such as the fact that the us can still export waste plastics to any member of the organisation for economic co-operation and development."This means that in the Asian region, the us can only export plastic waste to two countries, South Korea and Japan (which are OECD members)," says Mr Puckett.

It is the first international legal limit on plastic waste, according to the United Nations environment programme (UNEP).At the meeting, hiroshi matsuzawa, chief inspector of the environment ministry, who is a representative of the Japanese government, pointed out that by January 2021, when the revised convention comes into force, "relevant domestic laws must be improved", and he intended to push forward the revision of relevant provincial decrees.

As a result, unrecyclable plastic waste, such as contaminated plastic bottles left over from drinks or mixed with kitchen waste, has been designated as hazardous waste under the convention, which prohibits the export of such waste without the consent of the other party to the convention.The state party is required to minimize the production of plastic waste and dispose of it domestically whenever possible.

DavidAzoulay, director of environmental health at the centre for international environmental law (CIEL), said: "today's decision shows that countries have finally caught up with the urgency and severity of the plastic pollution problem and demonstrated ambitious international leadership.Plastic pollution in general and plastic waste in particular remain major threats to humans and the planet.But we are encouraged by the Basel decision because we look forward to bold decisions ahead."" these decisions will need to address the root causes of plastic pollution, starting with reducing production.

VonHernandez, global coordinator, said: "this is a key first step in stopping developing countries from being the world's dumping ground for plastic waste, especially from rich countries.Mixed and unclassified plastic waste receiving countries from abroad now have the right to reject these problematic goods, which in turn forces the country of origin to ensure that only clean, recyclable plastic is exported.However, recycling is not enough.In the end, the plastic pollution crisis will have to be effectively addressed by significant cuts in plastic production.

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MartinBourque, executive director of the centre for ecology, said: "recycling should be part of the solution and this legislation will help prevent it from becoming a source of pollution.The plastic industry's false claims about plastic recycling have led to utter disaster for communities and ecosystems around the world."This legislation raises the bar for plastic recycling, which is good for people and the planet, and helps restore consumer confidence that recycling is still the right thing to do."

In addition, China, India, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries have said "no" to waste plastic and other "foreign waste".More plastic waste has been transferred to southeast Asia, especially Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, after China began to ban "foreign waste" in 2017, foreign media reported.