Basel Convention Agrees to Reduce Plastic Waste

August 5th, 2019

On 10th March 2019, governors of 187 countries met at the 14th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Basel Convention. The aim was protect people and the planet from the hazards of chemicals and waste. The measures particularly target the growing problem of plastic waste.


News from Basel Convention

Basel Convention (pdf) on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal, concluded in 1989 and entered into force in 1992, is the agreement stipulated by 187 countries, with the aim of protecting human health and the environment from the negative effects of hazardous waste and other waste.

At the last Conference of the Parties, 180 countries (with the exception of the USA) approved the amendments proposed by Norway, which this year will host the UN Conference "Our Oceans" (Oslo, 23-24 October 2019), aimed at modifying and adding items related to plastic waste, with the aim of controlling its flow around the world, making it illegal for exporters to ship plastic waste abroad without authorization.

On Basel Convention, countries agreed to include mixed, unrecyclable and contaminated plastic waste exports into the control regime that requires the consent of importing countries before waste exports can proceed.

Regulations surrounding the global trading of plastic waste is becoming more and more strict, bringing heightened transparency and implementing a new set of practical support measures for companies, governments, academics and civil society.

In addition to tighter regulations surrounding plastic waste, at the two weeks of meetings in Geneva called “Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste”, delegates agreed on amendments to the Stockholm convention to eliminate two toxic chemical groups, totalling about 4,000 chemicals, which are listed in Annex A of the convention.

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