Environmentalists protest in Tirana to protest against a law which allows recycling waste imports
Thousands of Albanians have taken to the streets of the country’s capital to protest against the reintroduction of a law which allows European nations to deport their recycling waste into the struggling country.
The law was reintroduced by Albania’s current Prime Minister Edi Rama last week in an attempt to improve the country’s struggling economy and faltering recycling industry.
The government preceding Rama was the first to pass the law allowing the import of recycling waste from neighbouring EU countries. However, when Rama became Prime Minister he abolished the law in support of his people’s views, who did not want Albania to become a wasteland for the rest of Europe.
Now Rama is being accused of betraying his people and his own political ideals, which had been to initiate a “renaissance” for Albania.
Environmentalists say that wealthier EU nations are now free to take advantage of the financially unstable Albania by deporting their recycling waste to the country and thus creating pollution there.
However, Rama has defended his decision to reinstate the law, claiming that the import of recyclable plastics, wood and paper will be beneficial for the nation and that none of it will be sent to landfill or for incineration, both of which are banned for imported recycling waste.
Rama tweeted: “Let me tell every citizen among the protesters who thinks he wants Albania to be cleaner than I do: You’re wrong. The law serves your goal exactly.”
Many concerned citizens believe that the law will be abused by organised criminals and that poor legislation will result in the importation of dangerous waste materials.
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