European Waste Management and Recycling Forum Dialogue with EU Vice President

EWMRF Tells Timmermans Waste & Recycling Industry Ready to Invest but Security Needed

The EWMRF has exchanged an open dialogue via video conference with Mr Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the European Commission, regarding basic European regulatory requirements to achieve the European Green Economic Recovery.

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Green Deal Recycling Markets & Policy EWMRF

The European Waste Management and Recycling Forum (EWMRF) has exchanged an open dialogue via video conference with Mr Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the European Commission, regarding basic European regulatory requirements to achieve the European Green Economic Recovery.

EWMRF was initiated in 2019. The background to its foundation was the debate on chemical recycling. The Forum is staffed with C-level executives from the waste and recycling industry from all over Europe and open to companies active in the sector. The Forum’s member companies represent a significant part of the entire European waste market. The mission statement of the Forum is attached to this press statement.

The Forum expressed the following commitment to the European Commission:

  • “The Waste Management and Recycling sector is willing and able to invest in high-quality infrastructure / it is supporting and enabling the Circular Economy and the Green Recovery Plan / but: requirement is a high degree of regulatory investment security
  • Technologies to achieve Circular Economy are available
  • The Waste Management and Recycling sector requires support to create markets and demand for secondary raw materials / make virgin material more expensive and recyclates more attractive
  • Close the door for landfills for recyclable and recoverable waste (municipal, commercial and industrial) / this opens new markets for recycling / creation of new jobs / increase of material recovery rates.

The commitment was put forward in relation to the following key Messages:

  • Development of a high-quality recycling sector:
      • Regulate mandatory minimum recycled content / focus on demand side / strong enabler
      • Regulate and prioritise secondary - over primary raw materials / establish EU Green Procurement targets and mandatory requirements for recycled plastic content consistent with recycling targets
      • Investment security & market stability required / require regulatory certainty
      • Shape and implement European legislation so that there is a level playing field with no national borders.
  • Strict landfill ban for all recyclable, recoverable and untreated waste
      • Regulate in the EU Landfill Directive the required landfill ban(s)
      • Central & Southern Europe / regionally up to even >70 % landfilling of MSW / create new recycling markets instead of landfilling.
  • Wide range of complimentary recycling and recovery technologies already exist
      • WtE for rejects from recycling operations and for non-recyclable waste  
      • mechanical recycling for recyclable waste
      • chemical recycling for waste plastics and other chemical products in development
      • objectivise the European debate on technology on the basis of facts

The Forum members expressed in the dialogue with Mr Timmermans the necessity for a fast implementation of the basic regulatory requirements in European law and the willingness to participate in upcoming stakeholder dialogues.

Signed by: 
AVR, ATTERO, EEW, INDAVER, REMONDIS, RENEWI, SCHOLZ, STENA METALL, URBASER

The coordinator of the Forum is Mr. Peter Hodecek, Member of the Executive Board of Scholz commented:

The open exchange with Vice-President Timmermans was very important to us. We have been enabled to bring practical knowledge forward. We had an open debate about the basic European regulatory requirements to make the circular economy a reality.

“One of the key elements is to regulate and prioritise secondary – over primary raw materials. A first step is to regulate mandatory minimum recycled content to boost the demand side and make sure that society decreases the speed in which primary raw materials are extracted. The second key element is to close the door for landfilling of recyclable and recoverable waste. The EU is summoned to introduce landfill bans for recyclable and recoverable waste.

“The policy to reduce landfilling has been a corner stone in many of the EU high recycling countries. Par example, this is a common practise for over 30 years in the Netherlands and Belgium. The two regulatory requirements will create the investment security needed to implement the European Green Deal at all levels inside the European Union.

“They are missing in the current regulatory framework. We are hopeful that the European Union will address and implement these requirements as soon as possible.”