Exports of non-hazardous waste by member states reached record levels in 2011, the European Environment Agency (EEA) says, despite a check in demand cause by the recession in 2008 and 2009.
Between 1999 and 2011, volumes of waste copper, aluminium, nickel and iron and steel all doubled. Exports of waste precious metals trebled and waste plastics increased by a factor of five over the same period.
Wastes are increasingly moving across borders for recovery or disposal, reflecting strict regulation and harmonised waste policies in the EU, the EEA concludes. Wastes need to be where they can be recycled and reused, it finds, and appropriate facilities do not exist in every member state.