A group of European recycling and waste management trade bodies has called on the European Commission to make the EU’s Green Deal a motor of Europe’s post-covid 19 recovery.
In an open letter, FEAD (European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services), EuRIC (European Recycling Industries Confederation) and CEWEP (Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants) warned that “any reduction of the level of ambition set by the EU’s sustainable agenda as being the wrong answer”.
It went on: “…the post-crisis offers a momentum to make the EU Green Deal a motor of Europe’s economic recovery. The new Circular Economy Action Plan and the new Industrial Strategy for Europe are the right responses to the economic recession.
“In that respect, it is instrumental to direct a significant part of massive public investments expected through the European Recovery Fund towards circular industrial value chains and infrastructures needed to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. The waste management and recycling industries have played a key role for Europe’s economy and society during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. With more than 400,000 local jobs, they are an essential partner to other industries, to innovative and green economic recovery.”
Late last year, the European Commission published its Green Deal plans, which also included promises to develop a regulatory framework for biodegradable and bio-based plastics.
The EU’s executive Green Deal also included its circular economy action plan, which was published in March. In relation to the same plan, the EC also said it will address emerging sustainability challenges by developing a policy framework on sourcing, labelling and use of bio-based plastics, based on assessing where the use of bio-based feedstock results in genuine environmental benefits, going beyond reduction in using fossil resources.
The letter waste bodies coalition letter addresses some of the points outlined in the EU’s circular economy action plan and urges the EC to:
- Lay down measures to stimulate the demand for secondary raw materials in products through recycled content and green public procurement, incentives rewarding value chains that contribute to save GHG and energy to bridge circular economy and climate policy;
- Continue to strengthen the internal market and speed up the creation of a well-functioning EU market for secondary raw materials, pushed forward by simplified EU-wide waste shipment procedures and end-of-waste criteria; and
- Resume a fact-based discussion on the proper treatment of residual waste, which cannot be recycled, through energy recovery or final disposal.
The letter also urges the European Commission to “prevent the leakage of waste streams suitable for recycling or recovery to large-scale landfills”, implement existing recycling and landfilling targets for municipal waste and setting more ambitious measures for other waste streams to be recycled and recovered.
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