Scandal: Dumping millions of tonnes of plastic waste on Developing Countries

Our plastic addiction is killing whales, turtles, and other marine wonders, and harming communities where plastic trash is dumped. It’s time to end this! Support the Norway proposal at the Basel meeting to get a strong agreement to end irresponsible international dumping of plastic waste at the earliest, through a vote if necessary.

Editor’s Note: The Society of African Missions is supporting the call to place restrictions on the shipment from major plastic producing countires to poorer countries who do not have the resources to properly handle or recycle the tonnes of plastic that is delivered to their markets. We ask our readers to carefully read the letter below from the Avaaz global campaigning group and, if in agreement, to consider signing their petition. You can access the petition by clicking on the Sign the stop plastic dumping heading, highlighted in blue, below.

An urgent letter from Avaaz:

Dear friends,

This is unbelievable — our governments are dumping millions of tonnes of plastic waste on developing countries instead of recycling it!

We’ve all seen shocking pictures of paradise beaches choked with plastic waste. But I bet none of us knew the plastic came from Europe, the US, and Canada!

Right now, in a bid to tackle this scandal, a summit in Geneva is deciding whether to stop the export of plastic to countries that don’t have the capacity to process it.

There’s huge support for the idea, but big business and powerful governments like the US are trying to block it. Champions say a massive show of public support could make the difference, and have promised to deliver our voices in the room. But we only have days — so let’s build an urgent worldwide campaign with a single clear message: stop dumping plastic in paradise!

Sign to stop plastic dumping

Plastic is literally choking our oceans. Everywhere we look we see the carnage — dead whales washing up with stomachs full of plastic, seabirds suffocating, turtles drowning in plastic nets. And most of the plastic enters the sea in developing countries without strong recycling systems.

Which is why it’s so INSANE that rich countries are shipping their plastic to these poorer countries!

Now we have a chance to change it. A coalition of countries led by Norway is pushing for plastic to be categorised under a deal on hazardous waste, meaning it couldn’t be exported unless there were guarantees it would be properly processed, and giving poorer countries the right to refuse it.

We can’t solve the plastic crisis engulfing our oceans while using pristine coastlines as a global plastic dump. The decision will be made in days — so join now to tell our governments — stop dumping plastic in paradise:

Sign to stop plastic dumping

Our movement has fought the scourge of plastics again and again. We’ve helped win bans on plastic bags, funded clean up plans on polluted rivers, and delivered a giant call to ban throwaway plastics to UN HQ. Now we need to rise to defend our oceans again.

With hope and determination,

Risalat, Iain, Rosa, Daniel, Laura and the rest of the Avaaz team

More information:

The world’s recycling is in chaos. Here’s what has to happen (Wired)

Norwegian proposal to place trade controls on waste plastics gains support (Resource)

America’s new recycling crisis, explained by an expert (Vox)

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