The plastic waste trade in the circular economy

Publication Created 28 Oct 2019 Published 28 Oct 2019
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Europe is at crossroads regarding its management of plastic, plastic waste and the plastic waste trade. Rapidly growing amounts of plastic have negative environmental and climate impacts. Plastic and plastic waste are traded worldwide. Exporting plastic waste from the EU to Asia is a means of dealing with insufficient recycling capacities in the EU. Waste import restrictions in China have shifted exports to other countries. Because some types of plastic waste have been added to the United Nations Basel Convention, the option of exporting plastic waste is becoming increasingly difficult. This requires policymakers, business and other actors to build a more robust and circular economy for plastic in Europe.
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Publication Created 28 Oct 2019 Published 28 Oct 2019
Briefing No 7/2019
Europe is at crossroads regarding its management of plastic, plastic waste and the plastic waste trade. Rapidly growing amounts of plastic have negative environmental and climate impacts. Plastic and plastic waste are traded worldwide. Exporting plastic waste from the EU to Asia is a means of dealing with insufficient recycling capacities in the EU. Waste import restrictions in China have shifted exports to other countries. Because some types of plastic waste have been added to the United Nations Basel Convention, the option of exporting plastic waste is becoming increasingly difficult. This requires policymakers, business and other actors to build a more robust and circular economy for plastic in Europe.

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