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Most of the hazardous waste is handled properly

Target

4.2 Releases of substances that are hazardous to health or the environment will be eliminated.

Indicator

Quantity of hazardous waste for which no information is available on disposal
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Are we moving in the right direction? Published by the Norwegian Environment Agency

In Norway, about 98% of the hazardous waste is collected and taken proper care of. According to figures from Statistics Norway almost 1.5 million tonnes were handled according to approved treatment procedures in 2016.

Approximately 21 000 tonnes were handled by unknown methods. Some of the hazardous waste that is handled in unknown ways may have been mixed with ordinary waste, discharged into the sewers or dumped in the environment.

Hazardous waste that is delivered for approved treatment is not always recorded correctly. We therefore assume that parts of the 21 000 tonnes may have been treated as approved.

Instruments to reduce the amount of hazardous waste

Sooner or later hazardous chemicals in products end up as waste. To reduce the amount of hazardous waste the content of hazardous substances in products is regulated through the Product Control Act.

In Norway, we have introduced a substitution obligation. This means that manufacturers have an obligation to replace hazardous substances with less hazardous ones, when this can be done without unreasonable cost or inconvenience.

The Environmental Information Act gives everyone the right to information about the content of hazardous chemicals in products. Thus, consumers, businesses and government agencies may more easily choose products that are not harmful to health and the environment. Ecolabelling is a simple form of environmental information and a means to make products more environmentally friendly.