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Parliamentary questions
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12 July 2019
Question for written answer E-002269-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Roberta Metsola (PPE)

 Subject:  Export of plastic for recycling
 Answer in writing 

In 2017, China banned the import of low-quality plastic for recycling, which prompted countries looking to recycle their waste overseas to seek out alternatives in countries in southeast Asia with less stringent rules. Vietnam and Thailand have now moved to block all imported plastic waste in the next few years, with other countries also debating full bans. Half of the plastic collected for recycling in the EU is exported to be treated in third countries.

In its reply to Written Question E-001887/2019, the Commission stated that ‘EU legislation only allows the export of non-hazardous waste for recycling in third countries if the facilities that receive the waste are operated in accordance with human health and environmental protection standards that are broadly equivalent to those established in the European Union.’

Keeping in mind that the obligation rests with the Member States to implement and enforce Article 49 of Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 on shipments of waste, does the Commission conduct any forms of checks on the Member States in order to ensure that they are not in breach of this EU legislation? Does it also plan to address this issue in future agreements with non-EU countries in the medium to long-term?

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