The European body representing waste management businesses – FEAD – has issued a joint statement with the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) to call for legislative ‘pull’ measures to encourage recycling in the EU.
The two organisations issued a joint letter today (9 June) claiming that the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package could fail, if the proposed legislation does not offer suitable drivers to create demand for secondary commodities.
“Waste which cannot be prevented must be capable of being recovered as a useful resource,” the two organisations claimed, adding that the EU must address ‘market failures’ which have seen secondary resources overlooked in favour of other raw materials.
The European Commission published its proposals for the future of EU waste legislation in December 2015, which included higher targets for recycling, however the proposals have been criticised in some quarters for lacking incentives to encourage the use of recycled materials.
In today’s statement EuRIC and FEAD said: “Without demand side measures which create sustainable markets for secondary raw materials, the environmental benefits of recycling activities in terms of energy savings or CO2 reduction will not be realized, and there will be no economic basis for the investment needed to achieve the goals set out in the Circular Economy Package.
“That is why we are calling for more emphasis on the demand side in the Commission Circular Economy proposals.”
In the letter, jointly signed by FEAD secretary general Nadine De Greef and EuRIC secretary general Emmanuel Katrakis, the organisations call for the European Parliament and Council of Ministers to amend the Commission’s proposals to include financial incentives to reward the use of recycled material in manufacturing and minimum recycled content requirements for products.
Last week, Italian MEP Simona Bonafè, rapporteur of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, proposed a series of amendments to the Package including an increase of the proposed target from 65% to 70% by 2030, and stronger requirements for the separate collection of recyclables (see letsrecycle.com story).
MEPs are expected to vote on the proposals later this year.