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Should the EU ban all exports of its waste?

7th December 2021 · 2:00 PM (CET)

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The 2018 ban by China on waste exports contributed to unveil the truth about European waste and its destination, as a large quantity is shipped across the sea causing disastrous, health, social and environmental impacts. As after China, more countries are deciding to ban the import of such waste while rules have been strengthened at the international level, this webinar will look at whether it’s time the EU implemented a full ban on the export of its waste and what impact this would have.

2021 saw growing recognition that the problem of waste trade goes beyond tweaking shipments rules but lies with overconsumption and the need for waste generators to take full responsibility. As the European Commission has just published a new proposal for the Waste Shipment Regulation, we are convening a webinar to understand what policies the EU should be aiming for, how these can help prevent communities around the world from receiving Europe’s unwanted trash and how the practice of trading waste can be linked to the concept of waste colonialism.

This webinar will go into greater depth to answer these key questions:

  • What can the EU do regarding its waste shipment practices? Should it go as far as banning all exports of waste outside of its territory?
  • What are the impact of EU waste shipment in receiving countries and what should it do about it?
  • Looking at the EU practice of shipping waste, can we talk about waste colonialism?



Sara Mathieu


Sara Matthieu is a Belgian member of the European Parliament and city councillor in Ghent for Groen, the Flemish green party. She has a background in environment, energy and mobility. Sara has worked for Natuurpunt, a Flemish nature conservation NGO, and was a policy advisor in the Brussels government and its parliament for the Green party. She is an active member of the women’s movement in Belgium.

Dr Max Liboiron

Associate Professor in Geography and Director of CLEAR (Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research) at Memorial University

Dr. Max Liboiron is an Associate Professor in Geography at Memorial University, Canada where they study plastic pollution and anticolonial methodologies in science. Dr. Liboiron has influenced national policy on both plastics and Indigenous research, invented technologies and protocols for community monitoring of plastics, and is the author of Pollution is Colonialism (Duke University Press, 2021).

Yuyun Ismawati Drwiega

Senior Advisor and co-founder of Nexus3 Foundation

Yuyun has more than 25 years of experience in environmental health issues. She actively advocates for the right to a healthy environment, focusing mostly on issues related to policies and regulations for the elimination and control of toxic hazardous materials. In June 2000, she founded BaliFokus, which later changed its name to the Nexus3 Foundation. Yuyun is also actively involved as a member of the steering committee of various coalitions and NGO networks at national and global levels. In 2009, Yuyun won the Goldman Prize in Environmental Award for pollution and waste issues.

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