Over the last decades, the European recycling industries have drastically evolved by modernizing and constantly innovating to turn more waste streams into new resources. By doing so, the sector has contributed to the development of new technologies and automated equipment made in Europe and exported around the globe. The European regulatory framework has accompanied these changes thanks to ambitious targets and a meaningful waste hierarchy. However, the recycling sector continues to be subject to a complex and ever-growing EU regulatory framework, which affects its activities. To ensure a competitive European recycling sector, which is part of a global industry, EuRIC advocates clear, effective and smart European policies which:
- Incentivise recycling across the value chains;
- Minimise regulatory burdens on recyclers, in particular on SMEs;
- Guarantee an open and fair competition within Europe and with the world to foster a genuine internal recycling market.
EuRIC also advocates positive measures to ensure a consistent implementation of existing legislation across Europe.
Top 5 Priorities of the Recycling Industry for the Period 2019 -2024
By turning waste into secondary raw materials and reducing Europe’s dependency on primary materials, the recycling industry plays a vital role in the circular economy. In addition, recycling saves a substantial amount of CO2 and energy. Recycling is thus a key sector to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent, a key objective of the European Green Deal highlighted by Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission. Last but not least, recycling is an inclusive industry providing local jobs which rely on a variety of qualifications and cannot be outsourced. Thus, recycling can significantly contribute to Europe’s re-industrialisation by boosting circular value chains. Hence, EuRIC representing the European Recycling Industry, calls for the completion of a competitive internal market for recycling rewarding circular value chains in Europe and beyond, through a set of 5 key measures.
EuRIC unveils Sound Management of Waste & Chemicals Requirements Brochure
Sound management of hazardous substances in waste management and recycling activities is at the core of the circular economy. Recyclers have developed state-of-art separation techniques to safely treat a wide diversity of waste streams and recover valuable materials, hence directly contributing to the circular economy.
The Brochure published by EuRIC on ‘Sound Management of Waste & Chemicals Requirements’ highlights the main issues derived from the lack of interface between chemicals, product and waste legislation, and identifies simple solutions to boost the transition towards a more circular economy.
Christer Forsgren, Chair of the EuRIC’s Waste & Chemicals Task Force, Environmental & Technical Director at Stena Metall AB (Sweden), and Adjunct Professor in Industrial Material Recycling at Chalmers Technical University in Gothenburg, emphasized the key role that Europe’s recycling industry plays by reducing Europe’s dependency on primary materials and by saving massive amounts of CO2 and energy.
C. Forsgren stressed the importance of improving the interface between waste and chemical legislation by reducing legacy issues at product design stage, whenever possible, focusing on risks instead of hazards posed by substances of concern in safe recycling streams, and properly enforcing EU chemicals legislation at EU borders. The current lack of interface between these complex pieces of legislation is an important bottleneck to render value chains more circular, which is essential to make of Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050.
EuRIC unveils Metal Recycling Brochure
EuRIC is pleased to publish a factsheet on Metal Recycling highlighting the importance of both ferrous and non-ferrous metal recycling and their substantial benefits for the environment and the economy in Europe.
The Brochure outlines the environmental benefits, the economic and international trade aspects of steel, aluminum and copper recycling.
EuRIC comments on the Roadmap for a New Circular Economy Action Plan
The European recycling industry, as highlighted in its 5 top priorities for 2019-2024, strongly welcomes the European Commission’s renewed ambition to put, thanks to the European Green Deal, the Circular Economy and Climate policy on top of its strategic priorities for the next 5 years. Recycling is a job-intensive industry, creating local, non-outsourceable jobs, which is both resource and climate efficient. To move towards climate-neutrality and speed up the transition towards a circular economy, it is absolutely essential to drastically change important policy and regulatory-drivers applicable to recycling activities and throughout the value chain, based on three equally important priorities:
1. Adapt legislation to circular material flows by inter alia “modernizing (…) certain waste laws”;
2. Lay down market and fiscal based-instruments to incentivise the use of raw materials from recycling and level the playing field with primary materials;
3. Put in place requirements and incentives to design circular products and empower consumers’ sustainable choices through proper labelling.
These three priorities are essential to develop a much needed EU market for secondary raw materials rightly identified in the Roadmap as problem to be tackled.
EuRIC Position on WEEE Treatment Standards
To level the playing field in WEEE treatment at European level, EuRIC supports laying down mandatory minimum quality standards based on the WEEE treatment standards developed by CENELEC provided they:
- Are based on 50625 treatment standards developed by CENELEC.
- Distinguish informative from normative requirements as provided by the mandate M/518 with such a distinction to be made by a third independent expert and verified by the European Commission;
- Costs of implementation of binding minimum quality standards, in particular the costs of auditing, shall be continuously covered by Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Schemes or by Member States (MS)
EuRIC calls for an ambitious Strategy on Textiles
Textiles and clothing are essential to our everyday life. Over the last two decades, the textiles’ industry, in particular the development of ‘fast fashion’, has deeply changed the consumption patterns, in Europe and globally. These changes, rooted in the production and consumption stages, have also impacted the textiles re-use and recycling sector. EuRIC, the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation, strongly welcomes the European Commission’s decision to make textiles, apparel and fabrics a priority product category within the Circular Economy 2.0.
EuRIC welcomes the European Green Deal
The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) welcomes the publication of the European Green Deal by the European Commission on 11 December 2019. The European Green Deal rightly puts climate and circular economy policies at the core of the objective to re-shape Europe’s economy and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
EuRIC launches EuRIC Textiles and elects Executive Committee
The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) is proud to announce the creation of EuRIC Textiles and the election of its new Textiles Executive Committee. The Executive Committee was elected during a meeting held on 3 December 2019 in which the vast majority of the European textiles re-use and recycling industry was present.
EuRIC Updated Statement on the critical situation faced by the European paper recycling sector
Urgent need to reconcile circular economy in paper with market realities as paper recycling industry faces difficult situation. Updated statement on the critical situation.
Q&A Document on the Presence of PAH in Synthetic Turfs
The document is divided into seven questions that develop on explaining what are PAHs, why are they present in synthetic turfs, and how safe it is to use those turfs regarding the low rate of exposure of PAHs for users, its environmental benefits, and what can be further improved to establish realistic restrictions to the use of ELT for the production of synthetic turfs.