Trade associations EuRIC and FEAD have jointly called for unhampered trade of raw materials from recycling under the EU Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR).
Ahead of a vote by the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee on WSR, the two associations also said that the role of pre-consented recycling facilities needs to be strengthened by establishing objective and harmonised requirements.
They also called for Annex VII procedures to be maintained and not complicated by introducing an Electronic Data Exchange system.
In a statement the two organisations said: “European recyclers are therefore in favour of an ambitious revision of the WSR that effectively combats illegal shipments while levelling the playing field with extracted raw materials.
“In that respect, it is instrumental to simplify procedures for intra-EU waste shipments while ensuring free, fair and sustainable access to international markets for raw materials for recycling (RMR) that are used directly in production processes. This is of particular importance for base metals, paper or some plastics that have undergone a material recovery process and for which there is no sufficient demand in the EU.”
They also warned that there is insufficient demand in Europe for all the RMR that is created, and therefore exports to OECD and non-OECD countries contributes to the balance of supply and demand.
EuRIC and FEAD also said that restricting trade of recyclate will affect economic performance, and provide competition in European markets. This will then lead to more raw materials being extracted instead of recycled materials being used in Europe.
They also warned that the proposals will affect countries within the EU that have to export via countries such as UK, Turkey, US and in Asia. They gave the example of Ireland where there isn’t a paper mill so has to rely on exports.
In the statement, the trade associations added: “At a time where the world is undergoing major geopolitical changes, it is essential to keep a robust economical and environmentally sound trade relationship with historical EU partners.
“Any amendments that would result in aligning the legal framework for waste shipments applicable to OECD countries with non-OECD will be disproportionate and breach legal commitments of the EU and its Member States have taken with OECD countries.”