Plastic Waste Shipments (previous Chinese Import Ban on Plastic Waste)



Project description and aims

It is estimated that prior to 2018, China accepted 7 million tonnes of plastic waste for recovery. By introducing the ban on the imports of plastic waste, China caused a shock to the global waste plastics trade. The resultant displaced waste has been mostly sent to neighbouring Asian countries. Most of these countries do not have the capacity to process this volume in anESM. Further information is required on these waste flows to better educate policy makers and regulators and discover the ultimate end destination for these waste flows.

The Basel Convention plastic waste amendments are due to come into effect in January 2021. Some uncertainty exists, particularly with OECD countries outside the EU, as to how these amendments will be enforced. The EU has introduced amendments which bring additional plastic wastes under greenlist control, compared with the Basel Convention text. This has the potential to distort the market in EU MS that are close to third countries. We consider that greater clarification of codes would be of benefit to CA enforcement officers throughout Europe which could also be shared with CAs outside of Europe.

The project aims to:

  • Assist competent authorities with the enforcement of the Basel plastic waste amendments by providing documented guidance and assistance through a series of webinars.
  • Obtain a better understanding of end destinations for Irish and European plastic waste.
  • Provide regulators with a better understanding of waste plastic flows, particularly to Asian countries and how Customs interacts with the WSR.

    Related files/information


    • Directive 2008/98/EC on waste (Waste Framework Directive).
    • Directive (EU) 2018/851 (WFD recast).
    • Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 on shipments of waste.
    • Regulation (EC) No 1418/2007 shipment of green listed waste to certain non-OECD countries.
    • Directive (EU) 2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (Single-Use Plastics Directive).
    • Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal.
    • Basel COP 14 Decision (BC – 14/12) amending the Convention to enhance the control on the transboundary movements of plastic waste

Number: 2021/06, 2020/06, 2019/06 – Status: Ongoing – Period: 2019 – Topic: Waste and TFS - Tags:

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