Albania's parliament has passed a law on importing garbage from foreign countries that was opposed by environmental activists and the opposition.

The 140-seat parliament passed the law Thursday in a 63-27 vote, with four abstentions.

The previous conservative government initially passed the law in 2011, but the current leftist governing coalition overturned it in 2013 before the law took effect. Now, the leftists have done an about-face and reinstated the law with amendments.

Dozens of environmental activities protested outside parliament, saying Albania will turn into a dumping ground with dangerous consequences.

The government says the law meets European Union standards. Albania is hoping to launch EU membership talks.

Prime Minister Edi Rama said 130 million euros ($146 million) have been invested in four recycling factories and a dozen smaller ones.