International Trade in Hazardous Waste

International Trade in Hazardous Waste

International Trade in Hazardous Waste

International Trade in Hazardous Waste

Synopsis

International Trade in Hazardous Wastes presents a discussion on the need for a regulated and informed forum on the issue. The authors argue that with careful planning, health and ecological risks can be minimised and economic benefits realised fairly.

Excerpt

With land space running out for the disposal of toxic wastes and local opposition to such disposal facilities growing, wealthy nations have increasingly been sending wastes abroad to the less affluent nations. the increasing waste quantities, coupled with limited disposal options and tightening environmental regulations have indeed created a difficult situation for waste generators and handlers globally. in particular, as environmental laws in most industrialized nations become increasingly stringent and the cost of waste disposal rises, some waste handlers are turning to cash-poor and easily accessible territories in the developing world. Some developing countries in need of money have continued to accept waste shipments, while others have imposed bans but are unable to monitor them. Such practices are expected to continue and, possibly, even increase in the future. However, any existing waste trade is based largely on uninformed decisions, since the recipient countries in particular tend to be unaware of the risks involved and, furthermore, such countries usually are not adequately compensated. As a reaction to what is essentially an unknown and unregulated situation, the weight of political opinion has shifted to an outright ban on waste trade practices-climaxed by a United Nations (UN) conference vote to ban all waste exports. On the other hand, it is possible to control and regulate the risks involved in such activities so as to make the waste trade more efficient and cost-effective. in a regulated and informed atmosphere, the waste trade could be mutually beneficial to both exporting and importing countries-albeit decisions on human health problems and stability of ecosystems generally should not be dictated by economic considerations.

This book discusses the need for a regulated and informed forum for the international trading activities involving hazardous wastes. It is noted that an outright ban of the waste trade is unworkable and may be an over-reaction to a poorly understood problem. the analysis presented in this book shows that a hazardous waste trade programme can be carefully planned so that informed decisions are made for the benefit of all

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