"How European Trash Illegally Ends Up In Southeast Asia"

"The illegal waste trade from Europe to Southeast Asia has emerged as a highly profitable, low-risk criminal enterprise with a major impact on the environment, economy, and human health."

"Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, are facing an influx of illegal waste shipments from industrialized nations, with a considerable amount trafficked from Europe.

According to a new UN report mapping waste trafficking trends from Europe and Southeast Asia, criminal actors exploit loopholes and legitimate business structures, making waste trafficking one of the most significant crimes that can affect the environment.

Despite existing regulations, traffickers are empowered by ineffective law enforcement and low penalties when caught, and tempted by opportunities for easy profit.

The European Commission estimates that 15 to 30% of waste shipments from the EU are illegal, generating billions of euros in illicit revenue annually.

"Once trash is improperly disposed of it becomes everyone's problem. The urgency of addressing waste trafficking cannot be overstated," Masood Karimipour, Southeast Asia representative of the UN office on drugs and crime, told DW."

Enno Hinz reports for DW April 17, 2024.

Source: DW, 04/23/2024