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Is Argentina the Next Target Place for Plastic Waste Dumping?

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by - 11/25/2019 681 Views

The ban of Plastic Waste Import in developing countries like China, India, Vietnam & Thailand had created a crisis among the developed nations. The Argentina President’s sign on decree feared that whether it would become a site to dump Plastic Scrap

Plastic Waste

Plastic Scrap from Developed Countries:

The European countries are the largest exporters of plastic waste. Only a fraction of their plastic waste is recycled and the rest are dumped into the landfills which causes risk to their environment and the public health. So they started exporting to developing countries.

The Emergence of Plastic Waste Crisis:

China was considered the heart of the global waste business. For more than decades, the developed countries like the US and Western Countries are dumping their plastic waste in China which continued till January 2018. On considering the ill effects of environment and health, China enacted the new Natural Sword Policy of refusing 24 kinds of foreign plastic waste.

China Shuts the Door for Plastic Waste:

China was the top plastic scrap buyer for more than 20 years and it has been taking up nearly 56 percent of plastic waste to recycle and which was further used in the manufacturing process. In the beginning of 2018, it has stopped importing the plastic scrap to protect the local environment and air quality. This worried the developed nations and they started to find a new place to export their plastic scrap.

Plastic Scrap Moved Towards Southeast Asia:

The decision of China shook the developed Countries. The garbage trade between the US and China also dropped by 38 percent. So they approached Southeast Asia like Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India to dump their waste.

South Asian Countries No Longer an Option:

Malaysia was one of the countries used by the developed nations to dump their plastic waste. On May 28, 2019, Malaysia’s environment minister announced that the country struggled to deal with the scrap and so it has decided to restrict the import of plastic waste. It sent back nearly 3,000 metric tons of contaminated plastic wastes to the countries of origin, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. By considering the welfare of their nation and environment countries including Thailand, India, and Indonesia have also decided not to import the plastic scrap anymore.

Halting of Plastic Waste:

In May 2019, at a meeting in Geneva 186 countries agreed to restrict completely the international trade in scrap plastics to prevent dumping into poor countries. And some countries did not accept and refused to sign the treaty. Among them, the United States was one of the countries to refuse.

Amendment of Basel Convention:

The amendment to the convention proposed by Japan and Norway will restrict the global flow of low quality plastic waste to transfer across the border. From 2021 onwards the companies need pre-approval to export their plastic waste to any of the 187 countries signed up to the convention including China. As the US has not signed the amendment, it will not be able to export the plastic waste legally to any of the developing nations. And it can only trade with OECD nations with a limited range of plastic waste.

Argentina the Scarified Country:

In August, the President of Argentina Mr. Mauricio Macri signed an order that some waste and Plastic waste reclassified as commodities. As other countries have stopped the entry of plastic waste into their country, Argentina had taken the role to receive plastic waste from the US. This worried the Social and Environmental groups of Argentina that the developed countries would dump their contaminated plastic wastes into the country. The government of Argentina joined with the USA in voting against the proposed amendment at the Basel convention.

The US Looking for Dumpsite:

In 2018, nearly 157,000 containers of Plastic waste from the US were exported to other countries. The refusal of Plastic waste by the developing countries had pushed the developing countries to make less production on plastic. If the Government of Argentina confirms its plan to import the plastic waste then that would make the US Environmental Protection Agency make use of the opportunity to export their plastic waste.

Argentina will be a Dumping Land?

Argentina is expected to import thousands of tons of plastic waste from the USA and other countries to fill the place left by China. If plastic wastes are not properly handled, it will cause a huge damage to their environment. The waste pickers of Argentina have already started protesting against the decree as the import of plastic waste decreases the value of plastic waste that they retrieve.

Category : Plastic

Tags : Plastic Waste, Plastic Scrap


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About Anandhi Anthiran

Hi, I’m Anandhi Anthiran born at Kanyakumari, India. We are five members in our family. I have two younger sisters. About my schooling, I took my elementary education at Chennai. When I was 10 years old, our family got permanently shifted to Kanyakumari as it is our native land. Kanyakumari, the .... more info

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