Close the loop without knots
CECED reacts to Parliament's environment committee vote on the waste directive.
CECED reacts to Parliament's environment committee vote on the waste directive | Photo credit: CECED
Today, the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety voted on the draft reports of its Rapporteur MEP Simona Bonafè on Commission proposals amending the 2008 Waste Directive, the 2012 Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive and the 2006 Batteries and Waste Batteries Directive. These legislative proposals were part of the EU Circular Economy Package, announced in December 2015.
Says CECED Director-General, Paolo Falcioni:” I note a strong signal from the European Parliament to encourage the development of Europe’s Circular Economy. However, there are some aspects of the proposals that could cause distortions within the European Single Market, as well as negatively affect existing successful and efficient producer compliance operations. The home appliance industry continues to be fully committed to a workable waste legislation. The industry has a longstanding experience with e-waste legislation. Volumes of collected and properly recycled e-waste have steadily increased.”
A one-size-fits-all approach is not feasible when it comes to waste legislation. Sufficient flexibility is needed in the Waste Framework Directive to encompass national and waste stream specificities. The reports, as voted, risk jeopardising the equilibrium found when the WEEE Directive was revised in 2012 - i.e.: on extended producer responsibility and on operational and financial responsibility of producers. Producers can only be financially responsible for aspects under their control or influence
Similarly, consistency with other EU and national pieces of legislation have not sufficiently been sought to ensure legal certainty and avoid contradictions, overlaps or double regulation. For instance, product design rules should not be addressed in waste legislation, which, by its very nature, provides for subsidiarity and is not intended to create a single market. This will create difficulties for a proper, efficient and full implementation of the existing EU waste legislation in the 28 Member States.
The home appliance industry acknowledges the efforts made by the Members of the European Parliament to clarify a number of issues. We particularly welcome the clarification of the preparing for re-use definition. The definition as voted today, contrary to the Commission proposal, does not create a mix between products and waste. This is complemented by the introduction of the ‘recognised preparing for re-use operator’ concept. Access conditions for recognised preparing for re-use operators can be improved at waste collection points under certain prerequisites and according to existing national and local legislations, as well as having robust standards in place.
We also very much welcome that there has been more emphasis in the voted text on the roles and responsibilities of all actors handling waste in the Waste Framework Directive. This has been complemented by the introduction in the WEEE Directive of the obligations for Member States to ensure that data from all actors collecting or treating WEEE is reported.
Mr Falcioni concluded: “These changes send a positive signal acknowledging that there is a market for WEEE and it has a value. Without taking measures to reduce waste leakage and ensuring fully implemented EU treatment standards, a transition to a circular economy will remain incomplete.”
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