Loopholes left in ban on hazardous waste exports

Last year's decision to ban exports of hazardous wastes for recovery from OECD to non-OECD countries from 1998 was adopted as a formal amendment to the UN Basel Convention at the third conference of parties in September. Greenpeace says that the fight for the ban was the toughest yet and is elated that the decision withstood powerful opposition from the scrap metals industry, the USA and Australia. But potential loopholes remain, and the political battle will now shift to a technical working group which is drawing up a uniform definition of "hazardous" wastes.

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