FEAD: Circular Economy Package is a window of opportunities for our sector

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Source: FEAD

Brussels — The European Parliament has set very ambitious recycling targets and given a clear signal for FEAD members’ companies who are amongst the leaders at global level in recycling and recovery. This is how FEAD, representing the private waste management and resources industry, commented the outcome of the plenary vote on the final report on the Circular Economy Package.

According to the association, this regulatory push will pave the way to a circular economy in which our private companies play a key role by producing resources which can be re-injected in the economy and by supplying energy, thereby creating jobs. However, the regulatory push (targets) needs to be complemented by the creation of sustainable markets for these recycled materials which are globally traded commodities and are subject to volatile prices for which the demand & supply can be better compensated globally than locally.

The quantity criterion has been rejected

FEAD members welcome that the statistical definition of Municipal Waste (MW) shall apply regardless of the public or private status of the operator, thereby clearly stressing the neutrality principle. Fair competition and open markets are key to stimulate investments by the private sector in innovative technologies. Regretfully, the “quantity” criterion has been rejected by only 19 votes showing that Members of the EP are convinced that this criterion is key to make a clear distinction between MW and Commercial and Industrial Waste (C&I). If not, the set ambition risks to be diluted by including the collection and treatment of larger quantities of C&I waste, which will be detrimental to more recycling efforts by households and, above all, will be financed by tax payers’ money.

Output of calculation method would be better

Whereas the EP decided to adopt a calculation method based on one single point of measurement in view of achieving the recycling target, FEAD counts upon the member states, who will have to implement it, to maintain the “output of sorting” as proposed by the EC as a practical calculation method. The “output of sorting” is vital as it better reflects the realities of how recyclable waste is collected, sorted and presented to re-processors. Depending on the waste flows and where the waste material will effectively be reprocessed, it is also the point at which harmonization at EU level can be best reached.

Separate collection at source to be norm

Separate collection at source of recyclables and bio-waste should be the norm. However, FEAD considers that decisions on the most appropriate municipal waste collection system should be made locally as based on local conditions. Not only in sparsely populated areas but also in high densely populated city areas separate collection can turn out to be impracticable and not always offer the best overall environmental outcome. Hence, in line with the EC proposal, FEAD will continue to advocate for keeping the wording on separate collection conditional (TEEP).

Finally, FEAD welcomes very much that the proposal submitted by the leading Environmental Committee that contractors of EPR organisations may neither directly nor indirectly be members or owners of those organisations has been dismissed. This would have hampered efforts by private waste management companies to make EPR systems innovative and market-oriented business models.

Source: European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD)