Turkey was Europe’s largest waste destination in 2019: report

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PHOTO: John Cameron (Unsplash)

The European Union exported some 11.4 million tons of waste to Turkey in 2019, making it the continent’s largest waste destination, based on the latest figures released by Eurostat, the Greek City Times news website reported.

According to the report the EU’s second largest export destination for waste was India, which received almost 2.9 million tons of waste from the EU in 2019, followed by the United Kingdom (1.9 million tons), Switzerland (1.6 million tons) and Norway (1.5 million tons).

Recent years have seen Indonesia grow into a destination for EU waste, with volumes increasing from 0.4 million tons in 2016 to 1.3 million tons in 2019.

Meanwhile, the Eurostat report points to a decline in EU exports of waste to China, which fell from a peak of 10.1 million tons in 2009 to 1.2 million tons in 2019.

Exports of waste from the European Union’s 27 member states to non-EU countries have increased by two-thirds since 2004 but remained stable from 2018 to 2019. In 2019, EU export of waste reached 31.0 million tons, with a value of €13.4 billion.

In contrast, imports of waste from non-EU countries have fallen both in the long and short term. In 2019, these imports stood at 16.7 million tons in 2019, down 2 percent from 2018 and 6 percent from 2004. The waste imported from non-EU countries amounted to €12.8 billion in 2019.

The EU also receives waste from countries outside the EU. The largest volume of waste was received from the United Kingdom, amounting to 4.0 million tons in 2019. This was a fall of close to 12 percent from 2018, down to the lowest level since recording started in 2004.

Norway was the second largest source of waste exported to the EU, with the volume rising by 5 percent to 3.1 million tons in 2019. Switzerland followed with 2.4 million tons, down 3 percent compared to 2018, the United States with 1.6 million and Russia with 1.2 million.

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