Lynn Boylan MEP welcomes UN decision to control the dumping of plastic waste
Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan has welcomed the decision of 187 countries at the UN in Geneva yesterday to take forward a proposal on controlling the movements of plastic to other countries.
Under an amendment to add plastic to the Basel Convention, exporters will be required to obtain the consent of receiving countries before shipping their plastic waste, stopping the unwanted plastic dumping in the Global South.
As Ireland's Single Use Plastic Directive negotiator in the European Parliament, Lynn Boylan MEP, speaking from Dublin said:
"This is a massive move to getting to the heart of the plastics crisis, and could be a game changer in the plastics economy.
"We were all shocked and horrified when we learnt that over 90% of Ireland's plastic waste was being exported to China before they put in place a ban on plastic waste imports last year.
"It's ludicrous for us to be producing and depending on so much plastic, just to throw it out and ship it to the other side of the world.
"We knew it wouldn't be long till new 'China's' emerged, particularly in South East Asia, ending up as dumping grounds for Europe's plastic waste and prolonging the plastics crisis.
"This decision yesterday makes it clear that we are acknowledging plastic waste as a hazardous material, and rightfully so.
"This change now makes it clear that we need to drastically reduce our plastic and start making recyclables the norm.
"Exporting our plastic waste was never sustainable, and now we finally have a break in the system which will hopefully encourage positive change."
Ms Boylan continued,
"When negotiating the Single Use Plastics Directive, which was agreed only a few months ago, I pushed for emphasis on developing recycling capacity within Europe to ensure that we are not exporting our plastic waste, contributing even further to climate change with the shipping emissions.
"I also pushed for higher targets on obliging producers to use recycled content. These are the kind of measures we need to reduce the amount of plastic we use and produce.
"Countries in the Global South will now no longer be used as dumping grounds, and the incentives are now to localise plastic treatment and stop single use."