Deal agreed to limit waste flowing into world’s poorer countries

Tuesday 14th May 2019 | Jake

The vast majority of the world’s countries have signed a deal aimed at reducing the amount of plastic waste shipped to poor countries. In July 2017 China informed the World Trade Organisation it would restrict the amount of plastics it would accept for reuse from other nations. This move has had wide ramifications, with richer countries previously reliant on China now opting to dispose of their plastics and assorted waste elsewhere, invariably poorer countries, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Although the majority of richer nations agreed to the proposal that limits the flow of plastics flooding into the developing world, the US is believed to have opposed the deal, although it didn’t have a vote. 187 countries signed the convention.

China eventually stopped accepting recyclable plastics altogether from the US, prompting a scramble to find places to dump their waste. Countries looking to offload plastics usually strike a deal with private companies operating in the developing world, these companies happily take cash and waste from the developed world, not needing the consent of the government they operate under. Under the new deal countries wanting rid of their waste will now need approval from the government of the country they want to banish their plastic and rubbish to. The deal, which is legally binding, was struck after a fortnight of discussion at UN-backed conventions on pollution threatening the water and the species calling it home.