Cross-border shipments of waste increasing in European
According to a new study from the ETC/RWM shows that
transboundary shipment of waste has increased significantly during the
last decade. This increase is not only for shipments of hazardous, problematic
and non-hazardous wastes but also illegal shipments.
In 2003, about 8.6 million tons of hazardous and problematic waste were
shipped across European boundaries. Over 90% of this waste was shipped
to other EU countries. About 80% were for recovery and 20% were for disposal.
The total generation of hazardous waste was 55 million tons in 2003,
and the shipped amount accounts for about 15%. This is a sign that the
EU is acting more and more as a single market in relation to treatment
of hazardous and problematic waste.
Paper and metals made up the majority of flows of non-hazardous waste
out of the EU in 2005, each totaling around 8 and 10 million tons. The
vast majority was exported to the Far East.
The quality and reliability of the reported data on shipments of hazardous
and problematic waste to the EU Commission is not satisfactory.
The codes applied for the reporting are the same as applied to the Basel
Convention and these codes are too general to identify exactly what kind
of waste is being shipped. If the codes from the European Waste List
were used in the reports to the EU-Commission, it would give a much better
overview of the shipments. In that way, it would also be possible to
evaluate both the environmental and economic consequences of the shipments.