20 years ago: Transfrontier shipment of Wastes

It would be a shame not to acknowledge the passing of one of the most important and key environmental legislation that started twenty years ago.

I was involved in transfrontier shipments of waste regulation from the very beginning – My experience started with the Greater London Council, then later, the London Waste Regulation Authority and the Environment Agency with a great deal of involvement in the classification of transfrontier waste under the OECD Red, Amber and Green system, the management of the consignment note system, technical advice and promotion of best practice.

It should be remembered that the UNEP Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal came into force in 1992. It is the most comprehensive global environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes with 175 Parties, including the UK. It aims to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects resulting from the generation, management, transboundary movements and disposal of hazardous and other wastes.

A great deal of work was undertaken in those early years to ensure that international waste shipments were effectively managed. Some landmark incidents in Africa and elsewhere highlighted the importance of the security of international waste shipments.

The regulatory controls have been updated to the latest version: The Transfrontier Shipment of Waste (Amendment) Regulations 2008 together with UK Plan for Exports and Imports of Waste.

For those interested in environmental history, a copy of The Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 1994 can be found at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1994/1137/contents/made

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