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Morocco bans importing waste from Italy after uproar


Morocco has announced that a delivery of rubbish on its way into the country had been suspended after an uproar following the decision by the government to accept 5.5 percent of Italy’s annual waste.

Environmentalists have in recent days protested the arrival of 2,500 tons of waste from Campania in early July, 2016. The south-west Italian region suffered a waste crisis for years. Between 1994 and 2008 Campania existed under a formal state of emergency.

Morocco’s communication’s minister Mustapha Kahlfi said the government had decided that no treatment of waste from other countries will be allowed in the future and said the decision was legally binding but not retroactive.

The north African nation had earlier agreed a new, three-year deal with Italy that will see 5 million tonnes of refuse arrive in Morocco’s El Jadida region but was met with resistance after its citizens expressed concern that the rubbish was toxic and set in motion a petition to put a stop to the plans.

Morocco, which will be hosting the COP22 climate change summit in November, recently followed in the footsteps of other countries in banning plastic bags. However, these are now among the rubbish items being imported from Italy.

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