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MEPs push for tighter EU rules on waste shipments

18 January 2023, 23:44 CET
MEPs push for tighter EU rules on waste shipments

Waste - Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels

(STRASBOURG) - The European Parliament adopted its negotiating position Tuesday for talks with EU governments on a new law to revise EU procedures and control measures for waste shipments.

In 2020, EU exports of waste to non-EU countries reached 32.7 million tonnes, representing about 16% of global trade in waste. In addition, around 67 million tonnes of waste are shipped between EU countries every year.

The revised legislation should protect the environment and human health more effectively, while taking full advantage of the opportunities provided by waste to achieve the EU's goals of a circular and zero-pollution economy.

"We must turn waste into resources in the common market, and thereby take better care of our environment and competitiveness," said Parliament's rapporteur Pernille Weiss MEP: "With the adopted text, MEPs support explicitly banning shipments of all wastes destined for disposal within the EU, except if authorised in limited and well-justified cases. EU exports of hazardous waste to non-OECD countries would also be prohibited."

The Commission tabled in 2021 a proposal to reform the EU rules on waste shipments, laying down procedures and control measures for the shipment of waste, depending on its origin, destination and transport route, the type of waste shipped and the type of waste treatment applied when it reaches its destination.

Under the new law, exporting non-hazardous waste for recovery would be allowed only to those non-OECD countries that give their consent and demonstrate their ability to treat this waste sustainably. MEPs also want to ban the export of plastic waste to non-OECD countries and to phase out its export to OECD countries within four years.

Parliament calls for the creation of an EU risk-based targeting mechanism to guide EU countries that carry out inspections to prevent and detect illegal shipments of waste.

Additional details of Parliament's proposed measures

Further information, European Parliament

Adopted text will be available here (17.01.2023)

Procedure file

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