Transcontinental waste trafficking routes detected during Operation 30 Days
China has recently banned on the import of most plastic waste from US and other industrialized countries, which means that about 7.3 million tons of plastic will need to find new ways to be recycled every year. This is a major signal that could indicate the beginning of the end of “pollution havens” for waste. As China’s recent ban demonstrates, somedeveloping countries are more conscious of the environmental and health impacts of pollution of pollution’s impact on environment and citizen’s health and and are no longer content to be the dustbin of the world anymore. Their economy is mature and diversified enough to refuse industries with such negative externalities.
While some developing countries still continue to accept all our garbage because it is a necessary industry for them and a way to retrieve foreign currencies we can assume that local populations will put increasing pressure on their governments to limit the import of wastes in the near future. As the number of legal waste treatment options decrease, illegal waste trafficking is an increasingly lucrative activity. In order to prevent future pollution crises, we should increase punitive responses for environmental crimes to equal those for life-threatening ones and start dramatically reducing waste production to limit the economic interest of illegal waste trafficking.
Emeric Nicolas, Head of Statistics – Sources: Beyond Rating, Interpol