„Uncertainty“: UK`s recycling industry is not amused on EU decision

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Recycling container production (Foto: Kroll/Recyclingportal.eu)

United Kingdom — The new European Commission und Jean-Claude Juncker has decided to withdraw the Circular Economy Package and replace it by a “more ambitious proposal by end 2015 to promote circular economy”. Susanne Baker, Senior Adviser at EEF, the UK manufacturers‘ organisation, commented gently: „We are pleased the commission has decided not to axe the package but simply review it. This is the right decision.“

But Roy Hathaway, Policy Adviser at the Environmental Services Association (ESA), the voice of the UK’s resource and waste management industry, expressed regret about the uncertainty created by the European Commission’s decision. He said: “While it is reassuring to hear that the Commission plans to bring back the Circular Economy proposals in a broader and more ambitious form in 2015, rather than abandon them altogether, the uncertainty around what this means is not helpful. Progress towards a more circular economy in Europe is vital for jobs and growth as well as for resource efficiency and environmental protection.”

And Resource Association`s Chief Executive Ray Georgeson stated: “With the Commission saying they are withdrawing the package and intending to bring it back with revisions to make it ‚more ambitious‘, in our view this raises more questions than it answers. I do not see why the package needed to be withdrawn completely – which it has – in order to inject more ‚ambition‘. Surely this could have been done within the existing timetable, and maintained momentum?”

“By deprioritising the package for this year’s programme the Commission signal they do not see the circular economy as a priority that delivers jobs and growth in line with their stated objectives for revising their work. This underplays the significance of the potential of the circular economy, however much discussion is necessary on aspects of the detailed programme, as a generator of sustainable green jobs and growth”, he commented.

Ray Georgeson concluded: “Today this sends a mixed signal to our industry about the future of the Circular Economy package and it is not a welcome move. Therefore, an early indication is needed from the Commission to signal their timetable for review and resubmission, and the areas where they think more ‚ambition‘ is needed. We stand ready with colleagues in the resources industry to contribute to this discussion and we also look forward to the early view of the European Parliament and our own Government on this decision to withdraw the legislation today.”

Source: Environmental Services Association (ESA) / Resource Association (RA)