In recent years, the export and import of waste has grown considerably. We even have the term “”waste shipment”.
A large amount of non-recyclable or hazardous waste is exported to underdeveloped or developing countries. There are regulations that mainly apply to hazardous waste, the most important of which is the The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, adopted by around 190 countries. The problem is that neither this nor any other regulation is really ambitious in terms of obligations and covering different types of waste.
This causes multiple problems. Some of them are:
– As result of enormous amount of waste exported to underdeveloped or developing countries, serious pollution is created in those countries, resulting in severe diseases, as these countries do not have the necessary infrastructure to recycle or transform the imported waste.
– Many of the liquids present in these wastes, such as those found in the engines of exported vehicles, degrade soils and contaminate aquifers and rivers.
– The process of recycling plastic waste requires a large amount of water to clean it, which results in wastewater. This, with water scarcity in some of the countries that import the waste, is a serious problem.
It is important to ensure the availability of adequate disposal facilities for the environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes located, to the extent possible, within the country. Moreover, it is necessary to bet on technologies such as REVALUO, which allow not only to treat waste locally but also to obtain products and energy that would help local economies.