European Green Deal

FEAD is the representative body of the private waste management and resource industry in the European Union.

FEAD endorses the European Green Deal as the European Union’s growth strategy and considers it as the right tool for both economic recovery and for achieving the climate and environmental target ambitions set. These targets are on the right way to addressing the climate emergency, the risks linked to resource scarcity, and the threat to biodiversity. However, a prerequisite for achieving any targets is the valuation of natural resources, based on the valuation of their non-recoverability and the damage, caused by their exploitation.

In that sense, increased efficiency of materials and recirculation of high-quality materials are vital, and therefore, making the circular economy’s role in reducing the GHG emissions from raw material extraction, from products’ manufacture, and from construction/renovation/demolition activities, and in minimising resource consumption crucial.

The new European Climate Law that sets the EU-wide legally binding objective for a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050, as well as the 2030 Climate Targets, require each economic sector to do its part in reducing their share of CO2 emissions. The private waste management sector represented by FEAD stresses the importance of the circular economy as an essential instrument to reach these ambitious climate objectives, through the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP).

We now expect the EU to set up the much-needed conditions allowing the waste management industry to act as their key ally in the ambitious climate objectives for 2030 and 2050.

FEAD Key messages:

Waste management activities are at the crossroads of several challenges that the European Green Deal must respond to. For this reason, the following aspects should be considered:

  • make the best use of all resources, by optimising the material recovery of recyclable/recoverable waste as well as the energy recovery of non-recyclable waste;
  • boost recycling markets with an important shock on recyclates’ demand;
  • facilitate recycling, or even make it feasible, through binding rules on eco-design, including phasing out of Substances of Very High Concern;
  • acknowledge the positive role recycling and material recovery activities play in avoiding CO2 emissions from the manufacturing sector, and recognise that the whole waste management chain avoids less CO2 than it emits;
  • grant a competitive advantage to recycled/recovered materials, with higher taxation of the CO2 and the energy content of fossil fuels.

To achieve these objectives, the following instruments are needed:

  • regulatory tools ensuring mandatory recycled content for some priority products and flows, such as packaging and construction products and waste. In particular, construction products that should incorporate mandatory recycled content include windows, soils, bricks, cement, insulation products, and pipes;
  • stronger implementation and enforcement of the existing rules and targets, as well as legally binding eco-design rules;
  • green public procurement rules, on some priority products;
  • recycling targets for industrial and commercial waste;
  • Taxonomy that takes into consideration the role of both material and energy recovery from waste, shifting trends from large scale landfilling to increased recycling and recovery. Recovering energy from non-recyclable municipal and commercial and industrial waste in R1 installations would save approximately 119 Mt eq CO2 emissions in 2030;
  • a revised Energy Taxation Directive, taking into account fossil fuels’ CO2 content. Resources deriving from higher taxation could be used to support projects fostering a more circular economy. In any case, the ETD should avoid double taxation of any solutions that may be covered also by the ETS or other tools;
  • a revised Waste Shipment Regulation, fostering a better functioning of intra-EU waste markets while allowing waste exports outside the EU, to countries where a market exists for waste-derived materials, under environmentally sound conditions;
  • significant EU funds redirected to boost investments in selective collection and recycling. A stronger push will be needed especially in those Member States undergoing a severe recession, while experiencing insufficient recycling performances and large scale landfilling;
  • strong public support through EU funds, especially for the green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences.

FEAD is committed to the objectives of the European Green Deal and considers these measures apt for providing adequate stimuli to restart our economy while pushing forward EU Climate goals through the circular economy.

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