UNODC and WCO target plastic and hazardous waste
VIENNA (AUSTRIA), 5 AUGUST 2021 – On June 15th, the UNODC-WCO Container Control
Programme (CCP), in collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), launched a new project to
counter illegal shipments of plastic and hazardous waste in the cargo trade supply chain.
Building on findings from technical assessments undertaken jointly with authorities in Cambodia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam, the three-day long series of kick-off meetings allowed for ample opportunities
for elaboration on the importance of hindering illicit hazardous waste trafficking. Through the participation of several international
organizations, the meeting emphasized the importance of cooperation at both the national, regional and international level.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Stig Traavik, Director, Department for Climate, Energy and Environment,
Norad, stated that “illegal activities that destroy nature and harm humans and animals often cross national borders. Customs
and police are at the frontline in discovering illegal transports and trade of hazardous waste. By stopping the shipment of
hazardous waste in ports, we can hinder hazardous materials ending up in places where it contaminates the environment and
pose health risks to people. The CCP project on Countering Illegal Hazardous Waste Trafficking is therefore a very important
and timely initiative, and Norad is proud to support it, as part of the Norwegian Development Program to combat marine litter.”
Through the provision of technical assistance, CCP’s overall aim will be to further enhance
border security and encourage cooperation, emphasizing both the human and environmental aspects as well the importance of
protecting national revenue and legal trade.
Over the past years, CCP supported Port Control Units across the world have reported several
plastic and hazardous waste seizures, emphasizing the global nature of this type of crime: In 2020, more than 630 metric tons
of waste stopped before it could enter the countries in question.