European Commission proposes tighter rules for waste shipments

Wednesday, 17 November 2021 16:41:57 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

As expected, the European Commission has published today its proposed modifications to the current Waste Shipment Regulation.

The Commission reminded that the EU exports around 33 million mt of waste every year, with almost half of it destined to non-OECD countries, which "has generated increased pollution linked to the unsound treatment of some of this waste in many destination countries." For this reason, the Commission proposed to restrict the export of all waste to non-OECD countries. "The EU exports of 'green-listed' waste should be authorized only for those non-OECD countries that explicitly notify the EU of their willingness to receive EU waste exports and demonstrate their ability to treat this waste in an environmentally sustainable manner," reads the proposal. "The list will be drawn up by the Commission and export will not be possible for countries and waste not included therein."

Waste exports to OECD countries would also face EU monitoring, and Brussels could suspend them if, after concerns are raised about such exports causing pollution in a certain country, there is insufficient evidence that the country can sustainably manage them.

Moreover, the EU would require EU exporting companies to show that their exports are sustainable via "independent audits in the facilities to where they ship waste, in order to ensure that those facilities are operating in line with criteria showing that they manage waste in an environmentally sound manner."

Finally, the Commission aims at establishing criteria to prevent waste from being falsely exported as 'used goods'.

The proposal, which aims at increasing EU's responsibility for its own waste, will need to be approved from the European Union members and the European Parliament.

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