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EU halts exports of non-recycled plastic waste to non-OECD countries

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SEI RATIFA/AFP or licensors


As of January 1, 2021, all non-recyclable plastic waste will stop being shipped to developing countries.

Under new rules set up by the European Union only 'clean plastic waste' - things that can be recycled - can be exported to non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.

The Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said:"These new rules send a clear message that in the EU we are taking responsibility for the waste we generate. This is an important milestone in fighting plastic pollution, transitioning shifting to a circular economy, and achieving the aims of the European Green Deal."

Europeans generate 25 million tonnes of plastic waste each year. Less than a third of that gets recycled.

Eighty-five percent of litter found on beaches around the world is plastic.

It's hoped that EU countries will improve their sorting and recycling.