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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 April 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 recruitment@fead.be by March 6!

FEAD issues Joint statement on the European Commission’s legislative proposal for a regulation establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investment

The undersigning associations noticed with great concern that the Commission’s proposal for a regulation establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (also known as “taxonomy”), lists activities like “avoiding incineration and disposal of waste” as sustainable (Art. 9.1.i), while activities that “[lead] to a significant increase in the generation, incineration or disposal of waste” (Art. 12.d) are considered as harming environmental objectives.

For waste that contains substances of concern and therefore cannot be recycled in an environmentally sound way, incineration is the only sustainable option. It destroys these substances, and avoids that pollutants are spread into the environment.

Sustainable investment should follow the integrated approach and respect the waste hierarchy. As indicated in Article 4 of the Waste Framework Directive, life-cycle thinking should be taken into consideration when applying the waste hierarchy, in order to choose the most environmentally sustainable waste management option.

We need an integrated waste management approach with an appropriate and sustainable interaction of quality recycling, efficient energy recovery and environmentally sound disposal of waste that cannot be recovered. In order to achieve high recycling rates with low landfill rates, the whole waste management system from communication and collection to treatment of the residual fraction must be carefully designed and executed. Only with such a holistic process, can effective waste management which prevents environmental degradation, protects human health and generates recovered raw materials and energy to feed a circular economy.

Read more about our proposed amendment and reasoning here.

In a bid to combat marine litter, Norway has submitted a proposal to restrict exports of plastic waste, by amending the Basel Convention. The proposal aims at submitting exports of ‘green listed’ plastic waste for recovery and in most cases also for recycling to a notification procedure.

FEAD, as representatives of the private Waste Management Industry, would like to warn against this proposal which would do much more harm than good as it would thwart the development of an EU market for plastic recycling.

The notification procedure would seriously hinder the development of an EU market for plastic recycling. It would raise the administrative burden and the costs of shipping plastic waste to EU countries where they are further prepared, or it would make shipping simply impossible. The proposal is unclear, with classifications subject to confusion and varying interpretations. This will result in delays, costs, legal cases. FEAD is opposed to a revision making major plastic flows destined for recycling or recovery operations no longer benefit from the green procedure.

In view of Norway’s proposal, FEAD has reacted with a position paper which calls for:   

  • A robust impact assessment since the Norwegian proposal could negatively impact plastic recycling and recovery;
  • Complementing measures to stimulate European demand for recycled materials and investment in recycling capacities (e.g. Packaging and WEEE plastics);
  • Sufficient lead in time to allow new recycling infrastructure to be built;
  • A clear commitment by the EU to limit delays for notified shipments;
  • Consideration to be given to intra EU trade.

 Please see our press release and our position paper for further information.

The private waste management sector, represented by FEAD, the European Federation for Waste Management and Environmental Services, rejoices as the final trilogue on the Single-Use Plastic Directive yields a positive vote for a 30 % mandatory recycled content in all beverage bottles by 2030, with an intermediary target by 25% in 2025 for PET bottles. This percentage will be calculated as an average for each member state.

This is an essential component to ensure the success of the 90% collection target, to be achieved in 2029, as well as a huge step forward for stimulating the demand for secondary materials, and for driving the necessary investment in collection, sorting and recycling.

The private waste management industry has been in strong support of such a proposal to be given the green light. We will now start to plan the necessary investments that are needed in our sector to innovate and expand the separate collection, develop sorting and recycling capacity across Europe. We are ready to deliver the quality and quantity, and play our role in transforming the vision of a new plastics economy into reality.

FEAD’s president, Jean-Marc Boursier said:

“This crucial signal to the market will trigger investments in sorting and recycling facilities. A demand shock in the EU is truly needed to boost recycling and make Circular Economy a reality. This new Directive will show how a real demand policy will dramatically raise the uptake for recycled plastics in beverage bottles, by gathering all market actors along the production and waste value chain”.

Read our full press release here.

The Austrian Presidency, as well as several Member States, such as Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and the UK, already expressed their support for the European Parliament’s proposal. In view of the upcoming COREPER I (14 December), FEAD would like to urge the other Member States, as well as the Commission, to be open to mandatory recycled content.

A mandatory recycled content target will send, through the waste and material value chain, a strong signal to boost the offer of, and the demand for recycled plastics, as well as provide operators with the necessary certainty they need to make significant investments in plastics recycling from packaging products. It would also send a strong signal to incentivise the production of recyclable bottles, rather than single-use ones.

The private waste management sector is committed to delivering the quantity and the quality needed by the producers.

Read more about our press release here.