Organised crime groups have been profiting from illicit trafficking in waste for decades at the expense of human health and the environment. The damage resulting from this activity is severe and often irreversible. To this day, national and international responses have been inadequate. Existing measures are not commensurate with the gravity of the problem, or with the magnitude of the gains made by organized crime groups. More importantly, the transnational nature of this problem means that coordinated action must be taken across borders. With the entry into force of the lisbon treaty, this is made possible: the eu now has the means to approximate definitions of criminal conduct and related levels of sanctions using article 83(1) tfeu. This contribution explores the problem of organized trafficking in waste and argues, on the basis of an interdisciplinary analysis, that european criminal law measures must be adopted in order to effectively combat this illicit activity.