The European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) has called for reduced VAT rates to promote resource efficiency among a range of measures.
It has said that the European Union’s Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe provides a major opportunity for European industries to increase their global competitiveness while reducing their environmental impact and that measures such as reducing VAT on secondary materials would help these goals.
In a position paper, FEAD said: “Although the vision towards creating a resource efficient Europe has been well depicted in the European institutions various initiatives, we believe that this vision has to be underpinned by concrete measures as soon as possible.
“The key objective now is to specify how the set goals will be achieved in practice and provide a more detailed and specific impact assessment. FEAD, representing the private waste management sector, fully supports the vision of treating waste as a resource.”
It has suggested some key actions that should be among the priorities for the EU to implement the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe. These are:
- Ensure EU waste legislation is properly implemented in all Member States
- Ensure fair competition and equal VAT rates between private and public sector companies
- Reduce VAT rates to promote resource efficiency and the market for second-hand goods
- Extend Eco-Design Directive to cover material resource efficiency of key products
- Establish dialogue between producer and recycler sectors
- Develop eco-labels identifying recycled material content of products
- Strengthen the producer responsibility principle and encourage use of IPR
- Strengthen the requirements on green public procurement including targets
- Set common framework for resource efficiency indicators
- Encourage separate collection of food waste and set food waste prevention targets.
FEAD argues in the position paper that the application of reduced VAT rates on secondary raw materials would offer an incentive to manufacturers and industries to use these materials.
The report added: “High quality secondary raw materials which result from proper waste management treatment as well as renewable energies – among which, energy from waste – are efficient solutions that ought to be fostered.
“The supply of high quality secondary raw materials is a pre-condition to making recycled products a more attractive prospect in the market place. To this end, it is important to increase the demand for secondary raw materials on a long-term basis and to promote sustainable resource efficiency.”