Europe’s waste trade on the rise, reports EEA

EU exports of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes increased in 2011, according to a report from the European Environment Agency

Exports of non-hazardous waste by member states reached record levels in 2011, the European Environment Agency (EEA) says, despite a check in demand caused by the recession in 2008 and 2009.1

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.

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