Drastic drop in exports outside EU & performance downgrade of recycling in EU to be expected from new trade rules for plastic waste
Mixed plastic wastes have been moved from the ‘green’ list’ to the regime of the ‘amber list’. Outside or within EU, exports of plastic waste that are not perfectly sorted, recyclable, and uncontaminated will be subject to prior consent from exporting and importing countries as of January 1, 2021.
FEAD’s president, Jean-Marc Boursier reacted to the adoption of the proposal:
“This international decision, of which we understand the motives but question the effectiveness regarding marine pollution, ignores that recycled wastes are traded on a global commodity market. Such a major drop in the exports of EU collected and sorted plastic waste will affect, in the short and in the long term, the existing separate collection and sorting systems and, finally, downgrade the EU’s recycling performances. In the absence of new markets compensating the lost exports, it will prevent new investments and jobs from being created. The private waste management industry is ready to invest in improving the quality of plastic recyclates only if there is a market for recycled plastics. Pull measures such as mandatory recycled content in products, reduced VAT, mandatory green public procurement, can create a demand shock. Imported products should also be covered by these rules. The EU has to urgently adapt its own intra-EU shipment rules so that shipments of non-hazardous plastic waste for recycling or for recovery remain under the current regime.”
Read about the consequences of this new trade rule and what is really needed in EU Waste Shipment Regulation here.
Joint Statement on the Possible EN 643 Revision
EN 643 is the European List of Standard Grades of Paper and Board for Recycling and was revised in 2014. FEAD, CEPI and EuRIC have published a joint statement on the possible new revision of EN 643 and a possible approach.
At the moment, paper that has been in contact with food is in the prohibited materials section which means that foodstuffs are prohibited in recyclable paper. However, today's technology allows us to handle paper with traces of food and a "little tolerance" of foodstuffs should be allowed.
Therefore, instead of a formal EN 643 revision, we call on CEN to develop an approach to interpret the “zero tolerance” of “organic waste including foodstuffs” in the prohibited materials section by considering a low tolerance level for certain grades. For those, it is important to note that “zero tolerance”, or absolute zero for foodstuffs, does not exist, as a consequence the recycling industry needs a detection threshold for foodstuffs.
For futher details, please consult our position paper here.
FEAD's position on Ecodesign: Durability, Reparability & Recyclability
FEAD Issues Position Paper on Ecodesign
The term “circular economy” has been on everybody’s lips for quite a while now, and while we have a thorough understanding of its meaning; how do we ensure that the transition towards this economic model is a successful one? One of the key factors lies in “ecodesign”. Indeed, a staggering 80 percent of the environmental impact of products is determined at their design stage, and design choices “directly impact the complexity and economics of after-use processes”. In order to fulfil ecodesign criteria, durability, reparability and recyclability requirements need to be established and relations between the manufacturing and the waste and resource industry must be facilitated and intensified.
Given the increasing complexity of consumer goods, FEAD identifies an urgent need to link the impact of ecodesign choices to the complexity and cost-efficiency of their end-of-life treatment. For instance, if technical and economic considerations are taken into account, not all plastic waste is fully recyclable. Having that in mind, there is still an abundance of plastic which is difficult to recycle (e.g. mixed polymers, contaminated plastics, and black plastics). Plastic waste is not a homogeneous material and the possibility to reuse, recycle and recover depends heavily on its composition.
Ecodesign strategies are needed to ensure better coherence between the manufacturing and waste management processes to prevent waste where possible and to increase the quantity and quality of recyclates.
To ensure the fruition of ecodesign and therefore, of the circular economy; FEAD has issued a positon paper highlighting seven key points for success.
To find out more, click here.
FEAD’s workshop reveals how EU can achieve recycling targets
Early April, a new report by the European Commission warned again that half of the EU countries were at risk of missing the recycling target of 50% by 2020. FEAD’s (European Federation for Private Waste and Resource Management Industry) April 9 brainstorming workshop: From Setting Recycling Targets to Achieving Them revealed how circular economy’s stakeholders think the EU can succeed.
FEAD is Looking for a Policy Trainee!
Are you interested in working in the heart of Brussels and being involved in the frontline policy action of the trade association representing the private waste management industry? Then look no further! FEAD is looking for Environment/Waste-related Issues Policy Trainee to start in May 2019. The internship is remunerated and would be for a period of 6 months! Interested? Read all about it here and send us your application to email@example.com by March 29!