In 2019, 187 countries voted to amend the 1989 Basel Convention to include plastic waste in the definition of hazardous materials and to strictly limit how that trash is traded internationally. The binding framework aims to make global trade in plastic waste cleaner, more transparent and better regulated. It went into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.
According to Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network (BAN), a nonprofit organization that lobbies against the plastic waste trade, the motivation was to use the existing tool of the Basel Convention to "grapple with the lifecycle plastics crisis we are in."
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