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U.S. plastic waste exports by destination country 2018

Industrialized countries generate large quantities of organic, metal, and plastic waste, among other types of waste. Some of these countries export their hazardous and less-valuable plastic waste to other countries for further processing or management.
In 2018, around 19 percent of the total amount of plastic waste exported from the United States went to Malaysia. However, it is reported that some 55 percent of waste in the country is mismanaged. In general, around 78 percent of the plastic waste exported from the U.S. was destined for countries with poor waste management.

Distribution of plastic waste exports from the United States in 2018, by country

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Release date

June 2019


Worldwide, United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Countries with poor waste management are those with "material that is either littered or inadequately disposed."

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