In 2019, EU exports of waste reached 31M tons, with a value of €13.4B, says Eurostat
Waste exports from the EU to other parts of the world have risen two-thirds (+66%) since 2004, but remained stable from 2018 to 2019, the EU’s statistical authority announced on Thursday.
“In 2019, the EU exports of waste reached 31.0 million tonnes, with a value of €13.4 billion,” Eurostat said.
It noted that in contrast, imports of waste from non-EU countries have fallen in both the long and short term.
In 2019, these imports stood at 16.7 million tons in 2019, down 2% in 2018 and -6% in 2004, it added.
Also, it said: “The waste imported from non-EU countries amounted to €12.8 billion in 2019.”
Turkey largest destination for EU waste exports
The data shows Turkey is the largest destination for EU waste exports, with a volume of around 11.4 million tons in 2019.
“This was almost three times as much as in 2004,” Eurostat said.
The number two destination was India, which received almost 2.9 million tons of waste from the EU in 2019, followed by the U.K. (which formally left the EU this January, with 1.9 million tons), Switzerland (1.6 million tons), and Norway (1.5 million tons).
Meanwhile, Indonesia has grown as a destination for EU waste in recent years, with volumes increasing from 0.4 million tons in 2016 to 1.3 million tons in 2019.
“In sharp contrast, EU exports of waste to China have fallen from a peak of 10.1 million tonnes in 2009 to 1.2 million tonnes in 2019,” it added.
Ferrous metal half of all EU waste export
In 2019, exports of ferrous metal waste (such as iron scrap and waste from various steels) from the EU amounted to 15.6 million tons, making up fully half (50%) of all waste exports.
The main destination was Turkey, with 9.9 million tons, Turkey received almost two-thirds (63%) of the ferrous metal waste exported from the EU.
In contrast, the EU imported 4.2 million tons of ferrous metal waste, with almost a third (32%) coming from the U.K.
The EU also receives waste from countries outside the EU, with the largest volume of waste imported from the U.K., amounting to 4.0 million tons last year.
This was followed by Norway and Switzerland with 3.1 million tons and the U.S. with 1.6 million tons, respectively.