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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] Free report May 2019- Stop dumping plastic waste into poor nations

by Aaditya Singh | 13-05-2019 04:55 Comments 9 Comments recommendations 1 recommendations

I had reported the below content in one of my earlier reports in 2017 as a clear example that waste can be treated as a resource.

“Believe it or not, trash travels from Rome to Austria by train and is converted to electricity that powers Austrian homes! Rome had been struggling with a rubbish crisis and Austria had spare capacity at a waste-to-energy biogas plant. So a deal was struck. The Italians are paying Austrian company EVN to dispose Roman household refuse.”

Please read my earlier report through the link below.


Waste trade is a reality of our times and it can be considered beneficial if it is a win-win situation as I cited in my report above when waste from Italy was used as a resource in Austria to generate power.  However, on the other side there was also a completely different picture of waste travelling from one country to another. Many developed countries have been sending lower-quality plastic waste to private entities in developing and underdeveloped countries without proper approvals, practically turning villages into dumpsites.

Some years ago China stopped recycling waste from the US, and plastic waste started being dumped into other developing and underdeveloped countries. The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) found waste from US piled up in villages throughout Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, that had once been primarily agricultural communities.

Thankfully the practice is on its way out as I came to know from a recent web report (cited under references at the end of my report).

International community has agreed on a deal aimed at controlling and restricting shipments of ‘hard-to-recycle’ plastic waste from affluent countries to poorer countries. The deal was signed last week at a two-week meeting of UN-backed conventions on plastic waste and toxic, hazardous chemicals. The convention brought together 1400 delegates from 187 countries in Geneva, Switzerland. It ended with a legally binding framework to curb unethical dumping of less valuable and harder to recycle plastic that gets discarded rather than being recycled.

Exporting countries will now have to obtain consent from countries receiving contaminated, mixed or non-recyclable plastic waste arising from products used in a broad array of industries, such as healthcare, technology, aerospace, fashion and food and beverages.

Such conventions and historic deals can control shipping hazardous waste and exploitation of poor nations at the hands of richer first world nations. The deal will indeed make the global trade in plastic waste more transparent and better regulated, thus protecting humans and the environment. However, the epidemic of plastic pollution needs a systematic approach to curb the problem in the bud. We must stop flooding the market with plastic products, minimise purchase and use of plastics, control discarding of plastic waste and then start monitoring where plastic waste goes when it leaves our borders, to try making plastic a part of a circular economy.





Aaditya Singh

  • Aaditya Singh says :
    Thank you mentors and fellow ambassadors for your encouragement and valuable comments. Waste trade is an opportunity but also a risk and it is important to have proper controls in this regard to ensure that there is no exploitation of poor countries.
    Posted 21-07-2019 01:40

Louis Mentor

  • Louis Mentor says :
    Hi Aaditya,

    Thank you so much for writing about this issue and I want to stress that this issue has become a serious problem as some countries 'dump' the plastic waste to other poor countries. Plastic waste is a serious problem all over the world because it is not recyclable and reusable. I think stricter guidelines and regulations should be implemented to ensure no illegal dumping of plastic waste happen anymore. Great work!

    Louis Mentor
    Posted 20-05-2019 22:46

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Hello aaditya
    This is true fact that is happening and many countries are being affected for the reason that they hadn??t even admitted.
    This is also in the case of landlocked countries like ours and many others.
    Green cheers...
    Posted 17-05-2019 20:14

Sainath Manikandan

  • Sainath Manikandan says :

    It will be best if single-use plastics are banned and we look in for alternatives to plastics.
    Posted 14-05-2019 18:47

Vazira Ikhtiyorova

  • Vazira Ikhtiyorova says :
    Hello, Aaditya!
    Thank you for your report! I truly agree with you! These low qualified plastics do harm our environment like there was news about a shark which had inside a big amount of plastic packages!
    It was a great pleasure to read your article and keep it up!|
    Posted 14-05-2019 00:35

Wonhee Mentor

  • Wonhee Mentor says :
    Hello Aaditya.

    Thank you for your report on dumping plastic waste into poor nations. As you said, waste trade was supposed to be a 'win-win' situation. However, as some nations illegally dumped non-recyclable waste and even hazardous chemicals into other nations, this waste trade has become a serious problem. In order to avoid this, stricter monitoring system must be implemented or waste trade should be banned entirely. Thank you for letting us know about this.

    Wonhee Mentor

    Posted 13-05-2019 22:31

Nishan kc

  • Nishan kc says :
    The report is indeed alluring about such a problematic condition. Yeah, many rich countries had such a practise of dumping plastics to developing countries but why this still happening? In the other hand, slowly the problems are been raised to concerned authorities which is really a spotlight to combat from these rooting issues.
    Thanks for your share!
    Best wishes!
    Posted 13-05-2019 22:08

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Aaditya

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works. Thank you for your report about dumping plastic waste into poor nations. Plastic pollution is a huge problem as it is being as waste although they are reuseable and recyclable. We must refuse the use of plastic, if we can't reuse. Together we can beat plastic pollution.

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 13-05-2019 17:54

Himani Chand

  • Himani Chand says :
    It's a great deal for the countries that are being converted into a dumpsites. But I guess rather than this method, it could have been better if some policies regarding less production of plastics could be made. Alternating those with decomposable carrying objects , like an example of Thailand where Banana's leaves are being used. Same like this.
    But still hope that it can give some hope to reduce the escalating plastic trend in the world.
    Posted 13-05-2019 07:42

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