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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.

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.

To find out how, take a look at our report and our press release.

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.

In an interview with Mr. Jean-Marc Boursier, president of FEAD, and Group Senior Executive VP in charge of Finance and Northern Europe Recycling & Recovery activities at SUEZ, FEAD explores how he thinks recycling targets can be achieved:

Q: Are the recycling targets in the Waste Framework Directive and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive too ambitious?

JMB: Of course, they are ambitious as their success depends on many external factors. We hear the word recycling a lot, but I would like to emphasise that “recycling” is not something that exists because we say it does. Recycling exists because there is a market that collects material to be recycled and further reincorporated into new products: the private waste management market... (read more)

 

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 recruitment@fead.be by March 29!