Interpol report shows increase in illegal plastic waste imports – AustraliaPosted on February 25, 2021 by DrRossH in Landfills and Disposal
A report by international enforcement agency, Interpol, has noted that there has been a marked increase in the illegal importation of plastics to lower Asian and eastern European countries since the China Sword policy was introduced in 2018.
Most of those involved in the trade get away with it using fraudulent documentation and by the misdeclaration of plastic waste. What is compounding the issue is that there is a noticeable lack of traceability, which is making it hard to find out the source of the original waste.
While this world-first legislation [Basel Convention] rolls out in Australia right now, it is clear to see that a simple shift to ‘reprocess’ this same waste into a range of exportable products like Process Engineered Fuel (PEF), Refuse Derived Fuel(RDF), Waste Derived Fuel(WDF) and plastic pellets, will in effect see the continuation of waste exports from Australia to the AP region as ‘plastic waste fuel’ and contaminated plastic feedstocks for the recycling sector.
It appears we have no shame when it comes to handling plastic waste. To knowing let plastic waste be exported to destinations that cannot handle it is a terrible situation. “We use it, we should deal with it”. That alone would drive the market to even out costs and make it more justifiable to handle the plastic was here.