Birmingham, UK – “We welcome the concerted effort the Commission is putting into the preparatory work for its new legislative proposal on waste and Communication on the circular economy. We urge the Commission to be true to its stated ambition for the circular economy and signal a clear timetable in its action plan that will lead to underpinning legislative proposals where they are needed.” That was the comment of the Resource Association on the European Commission’s public consultation on the Circular Economy.
According to the association, the Circular Economy provides „a golden opportunity“ for the EU Commission to to be bold in its review of waste legislation and „provide recycling policy and practice with the reboot that it badly needs”.
To give the reprocessing and recycling industry a significant lift and send clear signals to the market place, investors and consumers alike may be ambitious, but not impossible. The Resource Association therefore repeats his own calls for:
- mandatory source separation of biowaste and more emphasis on setting up collection systems for paper, plastics, metals and glass that focus on reducing contamination and improving quality of secondary raw materials;
- harmonised methodology for calculating recycling based on the point of ‘final recycling’ at a reprocessor – and to combine this with a root and branch review of targets that could use other metrics (such as carbon and possibly residual waste per capita) rather than weight- based percentages;
- better enforcement of Waste Shipments Regulations to avoid substandard treatment of materials and properly combat waste crime;
- guidance on acceptable levels of contamination at an EU level to ensure a level playing field for reputable recyclers and exporters and again focus on tackling waste crime;
- clear long-term ambition on recycling targets with achievable lead times for all Member States to support investor confidence;a phased and clear approach to the banning of recyclables to landfill and in the longer-term to incineration to avoid the undermining of higher reuse and recycling targets;
- renewed emphasis on ‘demand pull’ measures to stimulate eco-design, demand for secondary raw materials and investments in reuse and recycling infrastructure.”
Resource Association Chief Executive Ray Mr Georgeson concluded: “We know that the circular economy is about much more than recycling, but getting the collection and processing of secondary raw materials in the best order possible to underpin the emergence of a more circular economy has to be a paramount priority for the Commission’s revised waste legislation. Leadership from Europe is our best hope of making sure this happens across Europe in ways that respect the situation of individual Member States whilst delivering the ‘European recycling society’ held for so long as an objective of the European Union.”
Source: Resource Association