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Egypt to Import Plastic & Rubber Waste for Local Industry

No longer considered hazardous wastes prohibited for import, the country’s industrial sector is now taking in the world’s more pervasive waste.

“Waste not, want not” seems to be Egypt’s industrial motto of the day (if such a thing were to exist), seeing as Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry just pulled something seemingly outlandish, but all too viable; as of today, plastic and rubber wastes have been removed from the list of hazardous wastes unfit for import. You might be wondering why, and so were we 15 minutes ago, but the nitty gritty of it is pretty neat.

Egypt’s slowly recovering industrial sector can now utilise two of the world’s most pervasive forms of waste – plastic and rubber – for valuable recycling purposes; mitigating the need for more expensive, fresh materials, as well as cleaning up the earth just a teensy bit (the fumes are a different issue). Apart from turning bottles into baby carriages, these two materials can also be used as alternative forms of fuel, again, cutting cost and helping the environment take a breather from what we do to it on the regular. So long as the imported materials have been thoroughly cleansed of any contaminants in accordance with the new guidelines (poisonous, flammable, reactive and corrosive potential), and the waste comes with a bona-fide “Material Safety Data Sheet,” factories and facilities licensed by the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), can use them for recycling purposes. Other facilities authorised by both the IDA and the Environmental Affairs Agency can also use them as alternative fuel sources, but only under strict permission and observation from the Ministries of Industry, Trade and Environment, as well as the latter two authorities.

It's not uncommon to hear about countries literally buying garbage from each other, the biggest example in the known universe would have to be Sweden; a country so devoid of any waste materials, they had to run around buying it up from neighbouring regions to fuel their industrial sector. Perhaps in time, Egypt can be the Sweden of the Middle East, at least in that one regard.