After Germany dumps 38,000 tons of trash in Poland, EU commission agrees Berlin must take it back

Illegal plastic dump. The toxic plastic exported from Germany is collected in empty quarries of Poland and is not recycled.
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

The European Commission has agreed with Poland in its dispute with Germany over German waste illegally transported into the country, Polish climate and environment minister Anna Moskwa has informed.

“Germany must take away the waste illegally stored in Poland! The European Commission has admitted that Poland is right in the dispute with Germany,” Anna Moskwa wrote on her X account on Wednesday.

“We demand the authorities in Berlin to collect in the coming days the waste left behind. If they don’t do it immediately, the next step is to file a complaint with the European Court of Justice,” she added.

Moskwa attached a screenshot of the opinion on the matter issued by the commission, which stated that Germany “has failed to comply with its obligations to take back, within the 30-day time limit, the waste from one location (Tuplice) and to a certain extent by failing to take back waste from another location (Stary Jawor).”

Garbage dump in Lubna, Poland. (Source: Wikipedia).

The latter finding relates to shipments arranged by ALBA Niedersachsen-Anhalt and Altmarkische Entsorgung und Transport GmbH operators “who seemed to have the knowledge that the recipient of the waste did not have the appropriate waste management permit,” the European Commission stated.

In late September, a hearing was held before the European Commission in connection with Poland’s complaint over Germany’s refusal to clean up 38,500 tons of waste that had been brought to Poland and stored illegally in several locations, including Tuplice and Stary Jawor. 

The German federal government claims that the matter is the responsibility of German regional administrations, but they have taken no action to take back the waste. Poland’s penal code envisages sentences of up to 12 years imprisonment and fines of up €2.5 million for the dumping and abandonment of waste.

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