Starting on the first day of January 2021, nations from the European Union will no longer be able to ship non-recyclable plastic waste to developing nations. Much of the plastic shipped to developing nations often end up in landfills, the ocean, or being incinerated due to lack of capacity to sustainably treat the waste. Starting on Friday, stricter measures related to exporting plastic waste from EU countries have been adopted, and only recyclable "clean plastic waste" will be allowed to be exported to non-OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. Europeans generate 25 million tons of plastic waste, but only 30% of it gets recycled. Virginijus Sinkevičius, the EU's Commissioner for Environment, Ocean and Fisheries, states, "This is an important milestone in fighting plastic pollution, transitioning to a circular economy, and achieving the aims of the European Green Deal."

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