EU trade associations call for creation of well-functioning recycling market after Covid-19

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Three EU trade associations representing the recycling and waste management sectors have written to the European Commission with a request that it keeps its focus on improving recycling markets as part of the recovery from the coronavirus outbreak.

The Confederation of European Waste to Energy Plants (CEWEP), European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) and the European Federation for Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) have asked the European Commission to safeguard the level of ambition in The European Green Deal and the new Circular Economy Action Plan as an integral part of Europe’s recovery plan from coronavirus.

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While the signatories to the letter recognise that there will need to be changes to EU priorities as a result of the outbreak, they put the case that the EU Green Deal, Circular Economy Action Plan plus the new Industrial Strategy are the right responses to Europe’s economic recovery.

In particular, they stress the absolute need to follow the following priorities in the Circular Economy Action Plan:

  • Lay down measures to stimulate the demand for secondary raw materials in products through recycled content and green public procurement, incentives rewarding value chains that contribute to save GHG and energy to bridge circular economy and climate policy;
  • Further strengthen the internal market and, in particular, fasten the creation of a well-functioning EU market for secondary raw materials thanks to simplified waste shipment procedures and EU-wide end-of-waste criteria;
  • Speed up work on eco-design to ensure that tomorrow’s products will last longer and be easier to recycle when reaching end-of-life;
  • Enhance investment certainty by implementing current recycling targets with the necessary financial support for countries lagging behind and consider the setting up of targets for industrial and commercial waste;
  • Resume a fact-based discussion on proper treatment of residual waste4 in Europe, which cannot be recycled, through energy-recovery or final disposal5.

In the letter, they also ask that the European Commission and policy makers take steps to prevent the leaking of waste streams suitable for recycling or recovery to large scale landfills. This means existing recycling and landfill targets for municipal waste need to be implemented without further delay.

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