June 28, 2021

Plastic PSA: The Basel Agreement and US addiction to plastic exports

For decades, the global North has pushed their plastic waste out-of-sight by exporting low-value plastic waste to the global south and China. In 2017, China stopped accepting plastic waste from other countries, and now an international agreement called the Basel Agreement would restrict plastic exports to countries that aren’t equipped to deal with plastic waste. Yet, the US has not ratified this agreement and continues to export more than 20 million tons of plastic waste every month, mostly to Malaysia.

In this week’s Plastic Public Service Announcement, we look at how the global waste trade affects our international neighbors and oceans with John Hocevar of Greenpeace. To learn more, go to greenpeace.com/usa

Photo: “Plastic waste piled outside an illegal recycling factory in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat, Malaysia.” Business Insider.

Alexis Goldsmith is the National Organizing Director for Beyond Plastics. To learn more, visit BeyondPlastics.org

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