EU/EFTA Plastic Waste Export Ban

January 17th marked an important date in the calendar as it was announced that the European Parliament backed plans for tighter regulation and control measures for the shipment of waste.

The revised legislation aims to protect the environment and align with many existing EU goals around sustainability and a circular, zero-pollution economy. Greater emphasis will be placed on efficient reuse and recycling of plastic.

“Our ambitious position in the coming negotiations with member states has just been endorsed by a broad majority in plenary. We have to turn waste into resources in the common market and thus take better care of our environment and our competitiveness.

MEP Pernille Weiss

The report, tabled by MEP Weiss, was voted on several days ago and was overwhelmingly approved (594 votes in favour, 5 against). The next motion will be for MEPs to start negotiations with member states.

Part of these proposals is the creation of an EU risk-based targeting mechanism whereby EU members will have guidance and greater transparency around waste exports, able to prevent and detect illegal shipments of waste.

The European Parliament has shown today that it takes protecting member states from illicit waste shipment seriously. We are happy to see this strong stance on intra EU shipments of plastic waste that seeks to finally make the EU compliant with international rules set by the Basel Convention. Now the member states have to honour this ambition.

Theresa Morsen, Waste Policy Officer at Zero Waste Europe

The team at Shabra are delighted with these developments, and welcome greater controls in managing and efficiently dealing with the decades-long issue of plastic waste. Our own efforts in creating a circular economy with minimal waste highlight what can be achieved. As a collective, an EU-wide response will impact not only members of the bloc but citizens of the world. Future generations will benefit from the decisions we make today, and that inspires us all.