Graduate Researchers Seminar: Addressing Marine Plastic Pollution

Monday 30 November

1.00-2.00 PM (AEDT)

Zoom Online

In this first Graduate Research Seminar series, Ms Daria Vasilevskaia presented her draft conference paper, “International and Regional Legal Framework Related to Trade in Plastic Waste”.

The Preamble of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal recognises the limited capabilities of the ‘developing countries’ to manage hazardous wastes and other wastes. Moreover, the Convention allows transboundary movements of wastes only if there is no danger with regard to their movement and disposal, and if the importing State has the necessary facilities and capacities for treatment or disposal of the waste. However, parties don’t seem to have respected these obligations since plastic waste is still being traded or transported from Western countries to low and middle-income countries and ends up in the seas due to unsound waste management. I argue that a better regulation of international trade of plastic waste is needed to reduce marine pollution by plastic which is a major environmental threat. In this paper I will provide an overview of the following questions: why is it important to better regulate trade in plastic waste; existing international instruments and possible improvements; regional perspective: can EU be a role model for international law and national legislators?


Daria Vasilevskaia

Daria Vasilevskaia is a PhD candidate jointly enrolled through Melbourne Law School and Aix-Marseille University, France. She researches in the area of international and European environmental law. She is particularly interested in the impact of trade and transport of plastic waste on marine pollution. She lectures at both universities in the area of international and European environmental law.

Daria’s PhD research is funded by Aix-Marseille University with additional support from the Melbourne Law School. In 2019, Daria completed a three-month internship at the United Nations Environment Programme Headquarters in Kenya. She was a legal intern for the International Law Unit of the Law Division. She engaged in projects related to marine plastic pollution and plastic waste regulation, environmental defenders and environmental justice, climate change and renewable energy, and wildlife crime.

Daria holds an LLM in International and European Environmental Law from Aix-Marseille University, France, funded through a scholarship from the French Government. Daria’s two Master theses focused on the implementation of environmental treaties related to environmental justice and waste regulation. She also holds a degree in linguistics, interpreting, translation and simultaneous interpretation from Moscow State Linguistic University. Before taking up legal studies, Daria worked as an interpreter and translator.