The umbrella organisation EuRIC that represents a number of European recycling trade associations has said that market- and fiscal-based instruments should be used to create demand for recycled content in products.
EuRIC said this as part of five strategic priorities for the recycling industry for the period 2019 to 2024.
It said that turning waste into secondary raw materials, the recycling industry plays a vital role in the circular economy, but also saves a substantial amount of CO2 and energy.
EuRIC secretary general Emmanuel Katrakis said: “Recycling is both resource efficient and climate-efficient and thus a key sector to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent.”
The organisation’s five priorities are:
1. Reward recycling environmental benefits to pull the demand for recycled materials in new products and level the playing field with primary materials based on market and fiscal-based instruments, green public procurement and recycled content targets for dedicated streams
2. Realise an internal market for recycling through simpler and faster waste shipment procedures, harmonised EU or national end-of-waste criteria for targeted streams, a new status of “secondary raw materials” to level the playing field with primary materials, both in terms of regulatory constraints and public perception
3. Strive for a competitive recycling sector in Europe and globally by enforcing competition in the waste management and recycling sector to forbid reserved markets and cross-subsidisation, implementing a pragmatic approach to residual waste treatment and ensuring free and fair access to international commodity markets
4. Align the interface between waste, product and chemicals to trusted circular flows by phasing out substances of concern at design stage and implementing a risk-based approach taking into consideration the intrinsic specificities of waste as a resource
5. Making design for circularity the rule rather than the exception through requirements to improve products’ recyclability and recycled content, reward mechanisms such as eco-modulation of EPR fees and eco-labelling to empower consumers’ sustainable choices.