Waste prevention should always be our priority. However, even in the transition to a circular economy, residual streams from production and consumption processes will remain. It is important to ensure appropriate waste management and prevent landfilling or incineration of valuable resources. Our goal is to ensure that reliable, harmonised standards promote preparation for reuse and material-efficient recycling. This way we can turn waste into a resource and close the loop in a sustainable way by, for example, using organic waste as fertiliser, treating sustainably electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and batteries, and recovering critical raw materials. Better product design is also essential to limit the amount of waste, especially hazardous waste, and facilitate material recycling.
We welcome the EU’s intention to make sustainable products and circular business models the norm as part of the upcoming Sustainable Products Initiative. To ensure this new legislation achieves its goals, we have sent detailed recommendations to the European Commission highlighting the need for removing unnecessary, inefficient, toxic, wasteful and polluting products from the EU market complemented with (and not driven by) better consumer information.
ECOS calls for tighter European rules for waste trade as part of our response to a public consultation opened by the European Commission. A proposal for a review of the EU waste shipment regulation is expected in the coming months, with the potential for topping up rules to encourage re-use and recycling.
Chemical recycling could become a loophole in EU waste and chemical legislation, diverting the EU from reaching its circular economy and climate goals. European institutions can avoid this problem now.