Recycling, a challenge for Europe

The EU is trying to reduce their imports of raw materials by improving methods of recovery and recycling. But it remains one of the leading exporters of waste.

Despite the European initiatives to promote waste as a resource for secondary raw material. They are often sent by boat to theemerging Asia (mostly China) instead of being reused in Europe.

Europe is losing this wealth.

A worker in China heats a circuit board to recover valuable metals at an informal e-waste recycling facility. Such sites produce toxic pollution and are also less efficient than industrial recycling operations. (StEP-EMPA)

Waste exports from Europe are not limited to illegal and dangerous substances, where you can see poor laborers dismantle all types of waste in India, from simple battery to the old warship containing asbestos .

These exports of 7.8 million tons of shipments include legal non-hazardous waste such as metals, paper and plastic. These wastes need not be reported to the extent that they have significant economic value and are a source of secondary raw materialsfor emerging countries.

The rules and environmental standards of the Union encourage exports, domestic recycling that can lead to cost. It is stupid to promote exports of waste, waste is a treasure. It is a mine of raw materials, only it is dirty and needs to be cleanedbefore use.

Imports of copper and other scrap metal, for example, are tax exempt in many countries. While copper and easy even for recyclingscrap metal, metal prices being constantly increased, do not recycle our metals and an economic mistake.


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