EU Waste Exports to Non-EU Countries Grow 75% Over Past Decade, Eurostat Says

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Union has increased its exports of waste to non-EU countries, in particular Turkey and India, by 75% since 2004, while at the same time decreasing the volume of waste imports by 10%, the European Commission reported on Tuesday.

“In 2020, EU exports of waste to non-EU countries reached 32.7 million tonnes, an increase of three quarters (+75%) since 2004. In contrast, imports of waste from non-EU countries decreased by 10% since 2004, amounting to 16.0 million tonnes in 2020,” the EC stated.

According to the report, Turkey is the largest importer of European waste with about 13.7 million tonnes in 2020, followed by India with 2.9 million tonnes. In recent years, Pakistan has emerged as another major destination for EU waste, with volumes increasing from 0.1 million tonnes in 2004 to 1.4 million in 2020, the EC said.

In contrast, China has reportedly decreased its imports of European waste from the record 10.1 million tonnes in 2009 to 0.6 million tonnes in 2020.

Ferrous metals, paper and plastic account for the majority of EU waste exports. Turkey became the main destination for iron and steel waste exports with 11.8 million tonnes, making up for more than two-thirds (68%) of the volume. However, the EU has also imported 4.1 million tonnes of ferrous metals waste and 2.2 million tonnes of paper, mostly from the UK.

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