greenpeace finds hundreds of tonnes end up in landfill or burned at illegal factories
Angela Giuffrida in Rome
Mon 10 Feb 2020
The Italian government has been urged to end the illicit export of plastic waste to Malaysia after an investigation exposed the environmental and health implications of the country being used as a prime dumping ground for unrecyclable plastic.
Demand for plastic is the second highest in the EU, after Germany, and it is the sixth-largest exporter of plastic waste to Malaysia. Malaysian imports of plastic waste from wealthy countries have risen dramatically since China, previously the world’s biggest importer, imposed a ban in January 2018.
Italy’s plastic tax plan under threat after industry outcry
EU law stipulates that member states can export plastic waste to non-EU countries only if it is recyclable, and that recycling companies must adhere to the environmental and technical standards required of treatment facilities in Europe.
But lax controls at ports means a huge amount of contaminated and hard-to-recycle plastic is being shipped out of Europe and ending up in illegal factories.