EU exported 32 million tonnes of waste in 2022

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In 2022, the EU exported 32.1 million tonnes of waste to non-EU countries. This was a slight decrease of three per cent compared with 2021. Imports of waste from non-EU countries decreased by five per cent since 2021, amounting to 18.7 million tonnes. This information comes from annual data on trade in waste released by Eurostat today.

Türkiye: main destination for EU’s waste exports

Türkiye was the largest destination for waste exported from the EU in 2022. With a volume of 12.4 million tonnes, it accounted for 39 per cent of the total exports of waste. The second largest destination was India, which received 3.5 million tonnes of waste from the EU in 2022, followed by the United Kingdom (2.0 million tonnes), Switzerland (1.6 million), Norway (1.6 million), Egypt (1.6 million), Pakistan (1.2 million), Indonesia (1.1 million), Morocco and the United States (both 0.8 million).


Ferrous metals waste accounts for half of all waste exports from the EU

In 2022, the EU exported 17.8 million tonnes of ferrous metals waste (iron and steel), accounting for 55 per cent of all waste exports from the EU. The main destination was Türkiye which received 10.7 million tonnes, almost two thirds (60 per cent) of all ferrous metal waste exported from the EU.

Considerable amounts of paper waste were also exported, amounting to 4.9 million tonnes or 15 per cent of the EU’s waste exports in 2022. The main destination was India (30 per cent of total paper waste exports).

On the import side, the EU received 4.2 million tonnes of ferrous metals (22 per cent of all waste imports) and 2.4 million tonnes of paper (13 per cent of all waste imports). The largest amounts of those waste were coming from the United Kingdom – 1.3 tonnes or 33 per cent of total ferrous metals waste and 1.2 tonnes or 49 per cent of total paper waste imports.

Source: Eurostat