UN environment agency announces new talks on hazardous waste treaty

Participants will be discussing technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of waste lead-acid batteries, metal and metal compounds, plastic wastes, persistent organic pollutants, and the dismantling of ships. These are all covered by the Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. In addition, the experts will consider adjusting the lists of wastes considered hazardous or non-hazardous under the treaty, and will debate proposals on asphalt wastes and edible oil wastes, like frying oils. The Basel Convention was adopted in March 1989 after a series of notorious “toxic cargoes” from industrialized countries drew public attention to the dumping of hazardous wastes in developing and East European countries, according to UNEP. The treaty, which has 149 parties, obliges its members to ensure that such wastes are managed and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. Governments are expected to minimize the quantities that are transported, to treat and dispose of wastes as close as possible to where they were generated, and to minimize the generation of hazardous waste.

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