Waste – and plastic waste in particular – is big business. Europe and North America produce ever growing mountains of it but, lacking recycling facilities, they ship it abroad for processing. No one is more aware of these practices than the receiving countries of Asia and Africa that have become dumping grounds for foreign rubbish. Criminals know it only too well too.
The GI-TOC report “Plastic for profit: Tracing illicit plastic waste flows, supply chains and actors” highlights how, in the face of endless demand for waste disposal, unscrupulous companies and criminal groups engage in a whole array of criminal behaviours aimed at circumventing export laws that control the movement (and treatment) of hazardous waste to developing countries. The waste business also offers opportunities for money laundering and tax evasion and, at times, converges with the illicit trade in other commodities making it an even more pressing issue.
The event will discuss the serious criminal, environmental and health risks resulting from the transnational illicit trade in plastic waste and will argue for a multi-pronged approach across jurisdictions and sectors to address these challenges.