European associations call for post-COVID-19 green action

Recycling associations want circular economy atop postpandemic agenda in Europe.

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Three pan-European recycling-related federations have issued a joint statement asking the government of the European Union to “put the Green Deal and the new Circular Economy Action Plan at the forefront the post COVID-19 recovery.”

Brussels-based EuRIC (the European Recycling Industries Confederation) issued the joint statement along with Brussels-based FEAD (the European Federation of Waste) and Düsseldorf, Germany-based CEWEP (the Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants).

EuRIC President Cinzia Vezzosi says recycling can play a key role “in turning waste into valuable raw materials while saving greenhouse gas emissions and energy.” He adds, “It is vital to use the momentum of the post-COVID-19 crisis to direct a significant part of massive public investments toward circular industrial value chains and infrastructures needed to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050.”

The three associations point to four measures they see as priorities for the EU:

  • stimulating the demand for secondary raw materials through incentives tied to their greenhouse gas emissions and energy savings, using recycled-content targets and green public procurement as circular economy policy tools;
  • further strengthening the internal market for secondary raw materials “thanks to simplified waste shipment procedures and EU-wide end-of-waste criteria;”
  • speeding up work on eco-design to ensure future products will last longer and be easier to recycle when reaching end-of-life; and
  • enhancing investment certainty by implementing current recycling targets and resuming a fact-based discussion on proper treatment of unrecyclable waste in Europe through energy-recovery or final disposal.