Commission welcomes political agreement on stronger control of exports of waste

The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached last night between the European Parliament and the Council on waste shipments, which will ensure that the EU takes greater responsibility for its waste and does not export its environmental challenges to third countries. The rules will also facilitate the use of waste as a resource. The agreement is a contribution to the goal of the European Green Deal of reducing pollution and advancing the circular economy. 

Export of plastic waste from the EU to non-OECD countries will be prohibited. Only if strict environmental conditions are met, individual countries may receive such waste five years after the entry into force of the new rules. In the light of the global problems of soaring amounts of plastic waste and the challenges to its sustainable management, with this measure the EU legislators aim to prevent environmental degradation and pollution in third countries caused by plastic waste generated in the EU. 

Other waste suitable for recycling will be exported from the EU to non-OECD countries only when they ensure that they can deal with it in a sustainable manner. At the same time, it will be easier to ship waste for recycling within the EU thanks to modern digitalised procedures. There will also be stronger enforcement and cooperation in fighting waste trafficking.