Plastic waste ends up in illegal landfills around the world

WHAT/AFP

Another company has been illegally exporting around 300 tons of plastic waste to Serbia since January 2021. This was discovered during an operational inspection by the Ministry of the Environment. The exports were stopped. A company was also found during a check that illegally brought around 320 tons of plastic waste to Germany.

“These cases show once again the problem of the global flood of plastic. It cannot be that plastic waste is dumped in illegal landfills all over the world – and our environment is destroyed – because of the profit interests of individual companies the police at the borders, but also directly in factories – this has prevented the illegal dumping of hundreds of tons of plastic waste this year alone, “said Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) in a statement on Thursday.

It is estimated that more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the early 1950s. Over 60 percent of this plastic ended up either in a landfill or in nature. The global flood of plastic is also leading to increased cases of environmental crime through illegal garbage exports from Austria. It was not until the summer of 2020 – following a tip from Greenpeace – that the illegal export of plastic waste from the electrical and electronics industry was discovered and brought for prosecution. The preliminary investigation is well advanced and the public prosecutor will decide on an indictment.

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