The present paper seeks to illustrate how pollution from waste and chemicals affects the environment, human health, and sustainable development, requiring a coordinated response both at the international and regional level. In accordance, the paper analyses the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, the Stockholm Conventions on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), and their adoption in EU law pursuant to the Court of Justice’s interpretation. The main and predominant objective and component of these conventions is, in fact, environmental protection, but they also regulate the shipment and “commercialization” of such waste, giving rise to political and economic issues of great concern throughout the international community. Therefore, after a brief introduction concerning the notion and classification of waste and chemicals, the paper focuses on the system established by the three aforementioned conventions as a particular regime for the protection of human health and the environment. It then considers how these conventions are adopted and applied in the EU legal system. Finally, it argues that a regulatory framework concerning these types of wastes exists, although in the difficult tension between economic needs and public health protection.
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