An EU Ban on the Export of Non-recyclable Plastic Waste to Poor Nations (Non-OECD Countries)

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Pedithep Youyuenyong


Plastics are one of the most affordable, versatile and durable materials in the world.
Majority of plastic waste is treated by disposal in landfill, incineration, and recycling.
However, million tons of abandoned plastic waste is still casted away through rivers and seas.
By this, many developed countries in the European Union export their recyclable and
non-recyclable waste overseas to minimise environmental impact of plastics and
micro-plastics use, waste and pollution. Large quantity of plastic waste from many European
countries was sent to least developed countries and developing countries. However,
poor management of plastic waste in developing countries causes serious negative impact
on environment and climate change, such as the problem on depositing of plastic and
micro-plastics on land and in rivers and oceans in such poor countries. In December 2020,
the EU announced a new policy to ban export of unsorted plastic waste to non-OECD
member countries including all non-recyclable plastic waste, starting in January 2021.
These new EU rules will only allow recyclable plastic waste sent for recycling to be
exported to non-OECD countries. The Polluter Pays Principle (PPP) is one of the main
principles that influence the shaping of these new EU rules at the European level.
The implementation of the concept of PPP responsibility is a strong instrument to reduce
plastic usage and encourage better sorting and recycling across the EU and non-OECD

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Academic Articles


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