Parties invited to submit comments on removing plastics from the recycling export green list

A container ship that exports recycled materials

Following the support given at the Basel Convention Open-ending Working Group to remove plastics from the recycling export green list, parties have been invited to respond to a consultation on the amendment proposal. 

The Secretariat of the Basel Convention, Juliette Voinov Kohler will then provide the Conference of the Parties with any comments submitted, until the expected ratification of it at the next meeting in April 2019.  


As reported by REB Market Intelligence, the Norwegian Government put forward the proposal which would lead to exporters of plastics having to alert the authorities at the end destination that they were shipping material before the departure. 

Certain plastics on the amber list would be accepted for export, as long as they aren’t mixed with each other or other waste.  

However, being on the amber list would lead to added bureaucracy because exporters of plastics would need to pre-notify the relevant customs authorities in the destination country of their intention to ship plastics. It could also see more processing fees being implemented by destination authorities.  

If passed, it will cause additional difficulties for Basel Convention Signatories, of which the UK is one, but it will also prevent US recyclers from exporting plastics due to the country not ratifying the Basel Convention. 

This is because Basel Convention signatory countries cannot receive non-green list plastics from non-signatory nations.  

Although US exporters would still be able to export to OECD countries, not many actually import plastics. 

Comments on the proposal have to be summited by 31 December 2018, with consideration of the proposal being held at the 14th Conference of the Parties in late April and early May 2019 in Geneva.  

The proposal will require a two thirds majority vote, unless there is a clear consensus to adopt the Norwegian proposal to make the amendments to the current Basel Convention rules.

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