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#24.01.2017 APEAL WELCOMES THE GENERAL APPROACH OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE’S CIRCULAR ECONOMY PACKAGE

APEAL welcomes the result of the European Parliament’s (EP) environment committee (ENVI) vote on the review of the WFD1 and PPWD2, two major pieces of legislation which are relevant to our industry.

As the key legislation designed to accompany the Circular Economy Package (CEP), the ENVI’s approval of the proposals represents a great step towards achieving higher recycling rates as well as the creation of new jobs and savings for businesses that will benefit from greater resource security.

“The switch from a linear to circular economy is a concept that is supported globally by our industry and as an advanced industrial sector we wholly support this paradigm shift. Implementing the CEP as soon as possible will bring numerous benefits, specifically: a harmonised EU approach, greater legal certainty and a more viable internal market for waste,” said Alexis Van Maercke, secretary general of APEAL.

APEAL has long shared the view that all EU member states should expand their efforts to reach higher recycling targets for all packaging materials. Waste is a resource whose recovery and reinjection into the EU economy contributes to resource efficiency, emissions reduction and the circular economy.

“APEAL has promoted higher recycling rates and zero steel packaging to landfill for many years now. Our industry objective has long been 80% steel recycling by 2020. This legislation and its implementation are crucial to drive improved performance across all materials in all EU member states,” continued Van Maercke.

“However, given that the EP’s proposed objectives for steel recycling are higher than the original targets proposed by the European Commission we would first recommend an impact assessment including guidelines on the calculation of the recycling rate.”

Amongst the other proposals in the text, APEAL particularly welcomes the approach to place the measurement point of recycling at the input to the final recycling process. Indeed, this point corresponds to the point of “real recycling.”

APEAL is pleased to note a reference to “multiple recycling”. By introducing the concept of multiple recycling, where products and packaging materials are kept in the material loop and can become resources for other products and packaging, the EP contributes to increasing understanding of the corresponding concept of permanent materials such as steel that can be recycled multiple times, indeed forever.

On the other hand, APEAL is concerned that the EP missed the opportunity by one vote (33 votes to 32) to explicitly recognise the concept of permanent materials. We hope that EP members will acknowledge the permanent material concept during the plenary vote and in parallel we urge all EU member states to include a reference to permanent materials in the Council text.

Apeal also supports the proposal for a split metal target, believing that ambitious targets for all metals will foster greater understanding of the recycling performance of all permanent materials.

 

1 Waste Framework Directive

2 Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive