Toxic Waste Trade Campaign

The hazardous waste trade and the business of waste export has re-emerged in recent years as a global threat to environmental health.

Toxic waste trade is facilitated when regional and bilateral trade agreements include these wastes as "goods" or "commodities" for trade. In many cases, this trade is the result of neo-colonial trade agreements that attempt to force politically weaker governments to accept the discards of more economically powerful nations.

In 2007, GAIA supported an ultimately successful campaign in Brazil and Europe that aimed to defend Brazil's right to ban the import of used tires from the European Union. These tires, which are supposedly exported as "secondary use products," are usually burned in cement kilns or disposed through other mechanisms that are harmful to health and the environment.

Likewise, in the Asia-Pacific region GAIA member groups have been involved since 2006 in building local and regional alliances against the ratification of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) and other similar bilateral treaties between Japan and Indonesia, Thailand and India. These treaties - which include trade in globally banned or restricted toxic wastes and other exploitative provisions - are still being debated, and the need for ongoing activism continues.

Read GAIA's Statement on Toxic Waste Trade.

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