Updated on 17 May, 2019
News: The 14th meeting of the Basel Convention was held in Geneva. Highlights of the meeting
Present regulations in India
- The meeting involving 187 countries laid down the guidelines on the movement of hazardous waste.
- Meeting acknowledged the plastic waste pollution to be the major environmental problem, with an estimated 100 million tonnes of plastic in oceans, 80%-90% of which comes from land-based sources.
- Thus, It amended the convention to include Plastic waste in the legally-binding framework which would make global trade in plastic waste more transparent and better regulated.
- Parties also agreed to ban the use of harmful industrial chemicals like PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid).
- Some member countries hailed this amendment as it would empower developing countries to refuse “dumping plastic waste” by others.
- Whereas, India has expressed its dissatisfaction with it, stating that the text of the agreement, in the current form, still allows countries to export various categories of plastic waste.
- There was a possibility of dumping from the developed world to the developing countries, in the name of re-use, repair, refurbishment, and failure analysis.
- Presently India doesn’t allow electronic and plastic waste to be imported into the country.
- Earlier, Plastic and electronic waste recyclers in Special Economic Zones were permitted to import waste for recycling. However, this exemption will also be discontinued after August, as per amendments to Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016. `
About Basel convention
- PFOA has been used in stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, nonstick cookware, and other products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water.
- Exposure to PFOA can cause:
- Increased cholesterol
- Harmful effects on a developing fetus or breastfeeding infant
- Low infant birth weights
- Effects on the immune system, liver, and thyroid
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- Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known as the Basel Convention was signed in 1989
- Basel Convention is a comprehensive international environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes with 187 parties.
- The provisions of the Convention center around the following principal aims:
- the reduction of hazardous waste generation and the promotion of environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, wherever the place of disposal;
- the restriction of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes except where it is perceived to be in accordance with the principles of environmentally sound management; and
- a regulatory system applying to cases where transboundary movements are permissible.