The global waste challenges are increasing. This is due to increased global production and trade, which also lead to new waste streams.
Used goods from industrialised countries have become increasingly sought-after commodities in some developing countries. An example of this is the flow of obsolete electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) from developed to developing countries. Some of this equipment contains hazardous substances that can have serious consequences on the environment and human health – especially when it ends up as waste or is improperly managed. Shipments of these items are therefore strictly regulated in Norway and we have recently increased our efforts regarding control and inspection to deal with this problem.
Transboundary movement should take place in line with the requirements of the Basel Convention and increased enforcement is needed to improve detection of illegal shipments of waste.
Emissions from landfills pose a major problem worldwide. To reduce emissions from landfills, we need to encourage greater energy recovery, recycling and biological waste treatment. Biodegradable waste contains valuable material and energy resources that should be utilized rather than disposed of.
In general, we need to pursue the development of sustainable waste management systems with focus on waste prevention, recycling, energy recovery and environmentally safe disposal facilities. Waste prevention should be based on an overall orientation with a focus on individual waste streams and products life cycle.
It is particularly important to support the efforts of developing countries to improve waste practices. (As for chemicals), we believe the consultative process for financing options for chemicals and waste is an important possibility to identify opportunities for more resources, both nationally and internationally.
In our view, policy instruments should seek to place the financial responsibility on those responsible for producing the waste, thus creating an incentive for more environmentally friendly behavior.