Norwegian proposal to place trade controls on waste plastics gains support

A Norwegian proposal to add plastic waste to the list of wastes subject to controls under the Basel Convention has gained increasing support following the 11th Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention.

The Basel Convention – shorthand for the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal – came into force in 1992 and imposes trade controls on hazardous wastes.

Norway’s proposal aims to tackle the tide of marine plastic waste and litter by adding plastic waste to Annex II of the Basel Convention, a list of wastes for ‘special consideration’ under the Convention that requires notification by exporting countries and consent by importing countries prior to export.

Many countries voiced their support for the Norwegian proposal on the floor of the meeting, including: China, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Libya, Maldives, Malaysia, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Senegal, South Africa, State of Palestine, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, and Uruguay.

Resistance to the proposals, however, was expressed by the EU, Canada, Japan and Australia.