World governments agree to control export of plastic waste

186 countries have agreed to put restrictions on the export of plastic waste, after an amendment to the global framework governing the movement of hazardous chemicals and waste was passed on 10 May.

The decision came at the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Convention places trade controls on hazardous wastes and regulates its disposal.

Originally proposed by Norway in September 2018, the amendment will require exports of mixed plastic waste to obtain the consent of receiving countries before being exported. 186 countries party to the Convention – excluding the US – agreed to add plastic waste to Annex II of the Convention, which includes a list of wastes for ‘special consideration’.