Considering the increasing attention chemical recycling is receiving as an alternative route for treating waste, FEAD, by recognising the interest to closely monitor its development and potential, points out key elements to be taken into account during the discussions undertaken on chemical recycling at the European level.
First of all, as a result of the vivid debate on plastic pollution, the issue tends to be reduced to a technique to recycle plastic polymers. Yet, chemical recycling is a much broader concept than the recycling of plastics, as the latter has a much broader scope that deals with a wide range of materials.
FEAD positions itself on three areas pivotal to the ongoing discussions on chemical recycling:
- FEAD excludes the idea of changing the definition of recycling contained in the Waste Framework Directive, as it appropriately addresses chemical recycling in its current definition.
- FEAD deems necessary to conduct an independent study to assess the CO2 footprint as well as a cost analysis of chemical recycling compared to mechanical recycling. As a matter of fact, to date, it is not clear whether the promoted technologies are environmentally and economically advantageous compared to mechanical recycling.
- In order to create a level playing field between chemical and mechanical recycling, chemical recycling installations have to be classified as waste treatment plants and consequently comply with the relevant legislation on waste.
Source: FEAD – European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services