Court backs strict EU waste shipment controls

Judges rule on waste shipments regulation dispute, condemn France, Italy and the UK for green law breaches

The European court of justice has ruled that member states can prevent the export of waste for recycling abroad if the waste is so polluted that recycling would not be permitted at home.

A judgement delivered on Thursday confirms previous case law on the EU's waste shipment regulation. The EU is in the process of writing stronger powers for member state authorities into a new version of the law (EED 13/09/04).

The case was referred by a German regional court. Authorities there had blocked exports of paint-covered wood scrap to Italy for recycling into chipboard because the high lead content of the waste made recycling illegal in Germany. German environment ministry Jürgen Trittin welcomed the court's finding.

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