China’s ban on waste imports – Where is Europe one year after?

22 March 2019

Until recently, China was the main destination of waste exports from developed countries, including Europe. However, in January 2018, China introduced restrictions on waste imports of plastic, paper, cardboard, textile and industrial waste. This has raised serious concerns about its implications for waste management in Europe, given the vast amounts of waste that are shipped outside the continent. At the same time, it has opened up a debate about the issue and has been welcomed by some as an opportunity for Europe to get serious about the circular economy.

This Policy Dialogue, organised in cooperation with Fondazione Cariplo, explored the Chinese ban’s short- and medium-term implications for Europe, including that of waste management in the EU, recycling and the transition to a circular economy.

Speakers included: Stefan Sipka, Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre, Sarah Nelen, Head of Unit, Waste Management & Secondary Materials, DG Environment, European Commission, Olivier Thomas, CEO, SUEZ Trading, Patrick Van den Bossche, Head of the Environment Expertise Centre, Agoria, Delphine Lévi Alvarès, Coordinator, Rethink Plastic Alliance.