Basel Convention Plastic Waste Amendment

Basel Convention Plastic Waste Amendment adopted at COP-14 in 2019:

  • Annex II: new entry Y48
  • Annex VIII: new entry A3210
  • Annex IX: new entry B3011 replacing existing entry B3010.

Reference: Decision BC-14/12 ; C.N.432.2019.TREATIES-XXVII.3

Summary:

The Basel Convention aims to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes and other wastes. This is achieved mainly by the strict control of transboundary movements of covered wastes but also through obligations pertaining to minimizing waste generation and ensuring their environmentally sound management.

“Hazardous wastes” and “other wastes” subject to the prior informed consent (PIC) procedure under the Basel Convention are identified in Annexes I, II, III and VIII. Wastes listed in Annex IX are presumed to not be hazardous and, as such, not subject to the PIC procedure.

The fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (COP-14, 29 April–10 May 2019) adopted amendments to Annexes II, VIII and IX to the Convention with the objectives of enhancing the control of the transboundary movements of plastic waste and clarifying the scope of the Convention as it applies to such waste.

  • The amendment to Annex VIII, with the insertion of a new entry A3210, clarifies the scope of plastic wastes presumed to be hazardous and therefore subject to the PIC procedure.
  • The amendment to Annex IX, with a new entry B3011 replacing existing entry B3010, clarifies the types of plastic wastes that are presumed to not be hazardous and, as such, not subject to the PIC procedure. The wastes listed in entry B3011 include: a group of cured resins, non-halogenated and fluorinated polymers, provided the waste is destined for recycling in an environmentally sound manner and almost free from contamination and other types of wastes; mixtures of plastic wastes consisting of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) provided they are destined for separate recycling of each material and in an environmentally sound manner, and almost free from contamination and other types of wastes.
  • The third amendment is the insertion of a new entry Y48 in Annex II which covers plastic waste, including mixtures of such wastes unless these are hazardous (as they would fall under A3210) or presumed to not be hazardous (as they would fall under B3011).

The new entries become effective as of 1 January 2021. Plastic wastes with specific Annex I constituents exhibiting Annex III hazardous characteristics or plastic wastes falling under the scope of “household wastes” listed in Annex II, already fall within the scope of the Basel Convention under the current regime.