Waste Crime - Waste Risks

Gaps in Meeting the Global Waste Challenge

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Waste covers a very wide spectrum of discarded materials ranging from municipal, electrical and electronic, industrial and agricultural, to new types including counterfeit pesticides. It also includes anything in size and scale from decommissioned ships, oil or liquid wastes, hundreds of millions of mobile phones to billions of used car tires. With rising global population, urbanisation and consumption, the amount of waste continues to increase. Additionally, illegal transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and other wastes from developed countries to developing countries have become an increasing global concern. This publication provides insight into the possible scale and features of the main drivers, along with case studies. It is not an exhaustive or fully comprehensive overview, but it intends to identify major areas of policy deficits and challenges that require further investigation, policy action and intervention for prevention and damage control, as well as to identify opportunities.



Cross border movement and routes

Smuggling, from small-scale to large, occurs all over the world, from waste tourists in northern Scandinavia to major smuggling hubs in South Asia. Shipping is the main route for overseas transportation, with millions of containers crossing borders. Control over the main ports in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia is limited. Thousands of containers arriving in Southeast Asia are not claimed, which suggests that they might contain hazardous waste. Over time, this could cause serious problems for the environment and human health.


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