Portugal has halted imports of foreign waste until the end of the year to protect domestic landfill capacity. Portugal usually attracts large quantities of European rubbish imports because of its low fees, has refused to accept 246,000 tons of waste since the start of 2020.
In a statement on Saturday, the authorities said: “This decision is intended to ensure we have sufficient national capacity in waste processing facilities.”
Portugal levies a charge of $11.66 to process a ton which is significantly below the European average of $84.81.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increase in plastic waste in a number of countries. The refuse includes personal protective equipment (PPE) like aprons and gloves. The lockdown has also caused a jump in single-use takeaway boxes, as people order food items to their homes.