European Parliament agree on new energy-from-waste provisions and prioritises separate recycling collections

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Energy-from-waste plant in Tyseley. pic: Elliott Brown Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown/6156328000
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The European Parliament and the Council has agreed on energy-from-waste (EfW) related provisions that will bring the Renewable Energy Directive more in line with a circular economy. 

These revised provisions will require Member States to ensure that their national renewable policies are designed with measures of the waste hierarchy. 

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It also specifies that the States should achieve their separate collection obligations in line with the Waste Framework Directive, and exclude renewable energy subsides for waste incineration if this obligation has not been complied with.  

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Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) development and policy coordinator Janek Vahk said: “Despite the watering down of several amendments, the Parliament succeeded in introducing some important safeguards that prioritise the separate collection and recycling of waste, in line with the requirement of the EU waste legislation.” 

However, ZWE has raised concerns about the inclusion of transport fuels from solid waste of non-renewable origin including plastics.  

According to the text, Member States could require fuel suppliers to put a minimum share of plastic-based fuels on the EU market to meet their mandatory transport goals via these fuels.  

ZWE development coordinator added: “Such a requirement is not aligned with the strategic goals of the EU Plastics Strategy and the Circular Economy Package, jeopardises any efforts to reduce plastic pollution in Europe and disincentivises plastic recycling” 

“If plastics are turned into fuel, the incentive to redesign plastics that are currently difficult to recycle is lost.” 

ZWE has called on Member States to transpose the adopted measures and to exclude any support for fuels from plastic.  

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