Italy Blocks Illegal Waste Shipment to Albania

Italy’s Customs Agency said on Thursday that it had stopped 21 tons of non-hazardous waste from being illegally shipped to Albania.“In the course of controls against illegal trafficking, the customs office in Bari has sequestered 21 tons of special non-hazardous waste,” the Italian customs agency said.

“The shipment collected in 56 sacks headed for Albania lacked the necessary permits for the transnational shipments of waste,” it added.Arguing that Albania’s nascent recycling industry could not survive on the proceeds of domestic waste alone, in November 2011 the Albanian government approved a bill allowing some waste to be imported into the country so long as it conformed to a so-called “green list” of 55 materials.

A group of intellectuals and environmental activists has since joined forces to condemn the change to the law and has demanded a referendum on the issue, arguing that by allowing in such imports, Albania was turning itself into the garbage dump of Europe.

On March 13, the umbrella group, the Alliance Against Waste Imports, AKIP, filed a request for a referendum after collecting nearly 64,000 signatures.

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