In the context of its work on the chemicals-products-waste interface, the EU Commission launched a feasibility study on the use of tools to manage information flows along product supply chains and in the waste sector.
ECHA should play a major role in ensuring traceability along the waste management chain and in guaranteeing the production of high quality secondary raw materials, both of which are major goals for FEAD, the European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services. Creating certainty and reliability is a key in reintroducing a greater quantity of safe recycled materials into the manufacturing cycle.
FEAD members welcome the information the database may provide as one of the main users of the WFD ECHA database. In order to deal with a specific waste stream, waste management operators need:
- Reliable information on each waste stream;
- Clear and simple information regarding the presence or absence of substances of concern; ECHA should avoid the inclusion of too much detail in order to simplify the treatment of information by waste management operators through a risk assessment;
- Certainty that the legal thresholds, if any apply, are respected.
One of the most important issues currently affecting the waste management industry is an information deficit. The level of information concerning the presence of substances of very high concern in products is very different depending on the waste flows, which are by their nature heterogeneous. It is therefore crucial that information is provided and efficiently shared with all the actors along the different stages of the value chain. Product manufacturers who know the content of the substances they incorporate in their products should inform recyclers.
Such information is essential for safety, for the quality of recovered or recycled materials, and for traceability. A complete information flow is attainable by:
- When insufficient, improving cooperation between manufacturers and the waste management sector in order to make more information available for the management of waste.
- Supporting the use of digital solutions for improved information flows, bearing in mind that the development of information flows on SRMs should not lead to more demanding obligations than there are for virgin materials.
- Providing a clear and simple methodology to indicate the presence of substances of concern in a waste stream.
The position paper provides further information and explanations regarding the issues the private waste management industry is facing.