EU EXPORT OF WASTE

A person consumes 93 plastic bags per year, which in the EU means 41.5 billion bags a year.

On 11 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a new Circular Economy Action Plan. The new plan aims to make the economy fit for a green future. Therefore, it focuses on the design, promoting circular economy processes, and fostering sustainable consumption.

According to Eurostat in 2021, exports of waste from the EU to non-EU countries reached 33.0 million tonnes, an increase of 77% since 2004.

The main destinations of waste from the UE were: Turkey (14.7 million tonnes), India (2.4), Egypt (1.9), Switzerland (1.7), United Kingdom (1.5), Norway (1.4), Pakistan (1.3), Indonesia (1.1), United States (0.9), Marocco (0.6).

Imports of waste from non-EU countries increased by 11% since 2004, amounting to 19.7 million tonnes in 2021.

In recent years, Pakistan has clearly grown as a destination for EU waste, with volumes inreasing from 0.1 million tonnes in 2004 to 1.3 million tonnes in 2021. In contrast, EU exports of waste to China haved fallen from a peak of 10.1 million tonnes in 2009 to 0.4 million tonnes in 2021.

In 2021, exports of ferrous metals waste (iron and steel) amounted to 19.5 million tonnes, accounting for more than half (59%) of all waste exports from the EU. The country best in waste management is Sweden. The country is close to fully recovering their waste at 99%.

Source: EUROSTAT

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