EuRIC calls for simplification of waste shipment regulations

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Waste plastic will be used to make fuel for cargo ships
A container ship that is used to transport recyclable materials

Umbrella trade association EuRIC has said that waste shipment regulations should be simplified to align them with the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.

The body which represents recycling trade associations across Europe said there is an opportunity to fix lasting bottlenecks and introduce radical changes to address long-term obstacles that are rooted in outdated obligations.

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In particular, EuRIC is calling for:

  1. Simplified waste shipment procedures, be it for green listed waste and waste subject to prior informed consent (PIC) procedure, which make an extensive use of digitalisation (electronic procedures);
  2. Preserving free and fair trade of secondary raw materials which is vital to the competitiveness of the European recycling industry and to speed up the transition towards a circular economy, while leveling the playing field with primary raw materials;
  3. Accompanying the revision of the waste shipment regulations by binding requirements to boost the use of secondary raw materials in production processes and reward their well-documented environmental benefits in terms of GHG and energy savings.

EuRIC senior policy officer Julia Blees said: “Closing boundaries has never brought any benefits except distorting markets. While EuRIC entirely supports avoiding unprocessed waste posing an environmental risk to find its way to countries lacking any infrastructure and makes practical proposals in that respect, it is key to ensure that free and fair trade of secondary raw materials remains unhampered.

“At a time where Europe’s industry remains mostly linear with only 12% of the materials it uses coming from recycling, truly boosting circular value chains in Europe require decisive measures such as binding recycled content targets and incentives supporting the uptake of recycled materials in manufacturing, not trade barriers.”

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