New international council to campaign on waste

A new council will be working on international issues of waste handling, transport, processing and recycling. The council will extend the work of an international lobby group for the waste recycling industry.

The new International Environment Council, the successor to the Bureau of International Recycling Environment Committee, held its first meeting where chairman Alvaro Rodriguez Martinez said that the recycling sector was gaining recognition for its role in the environment, the economy and employment.

But Rodriguez warned of continued misunderstandings over the restrictions on the movement of materials – principally because of confusing waste definitions.

He urged the Council to push for greater clarification in regulatory guidelines between recovery and disposal operations (see related story), and a clear distinction between unprocessed waste and raw materials recovered from them.

Dr Pierre Portas of the Basel Convention, speaking at the meeting, said that the new Council would be crucial in fostering dialogue between the recycling industry and regulators. He acknowledged ‘tensions’ between the industry and the Basel Convention over the control system covering transboundary movements of material, but warned that some recycling practices still merited close scrutiny, such as those in the ship dismantling industry.

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