"No garbage is being imported to Poland," Jacek Ozdoba told reporters on Monday.
Poland imported 5.75 million tonnes of waste when the opposition Civic Platform (PO) was in power while in 2016-2022, under the Law and Justice (PiS) government, only 2.5 million of recyclable waste came to this country, a deputy climate minister has said.
“No garbage is being imported to Poland,” Jacek Ozdoba told reporters on Monday.
“Imports of municipal solid waste are banned,” the deputy climate minister said.
According to Ozdoba, Poland is almost at the very end in Europe, when it comes to waste imports.
The official said that waste was being imported only in order to recover materials for industry, including rare earth elements (REEs).
Referring to the time when PO had been holding power, Ozdoba said that, for instance, in accordance with the then binding regulations, it was possible to import 300 tonnes of hazardous waste from El Salvador, 750 tonnes from Germany or 2,000 tonnes from Italy.
Ozdoba added that Poland had been still calling on Germany to take back 20,000 tonnes of waste from that country which was found abandoned in the Lubuskie province in western Poland in 2015.
The deputy minister also said that it was much more easier now to carry out inspections, and that the Penal Code had been amended to include more severe punishment for waste-related offences. For instance, persons found guilty of hazardous waste imports can face a prison term of up to 12 years.