New rules to tackle ‘wild west’ of plastic waste dumped on poorer countries

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International convention to stop richer countries exporting contaminated material for recycling could mean a cleaner ocean in five years

New international rules to tackle the “wild west” global trade in plastic, which has seen wealthy nations dump contaminated plastic waste on to poorer ones, will result in a cleaner ocean within five years, according to a UN transboundary waste chief.

The rules, which come into force on 1 January, aim to make the trade more transparent in order to allow developing nations such as Vietnam and Malaysia to refuse low-quality, difficult-to-recycle waste before it is even shipped.

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