First comments on the Green Deal
The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) welcomes the publication of the European Green Deal by the European Commission on 11 December 2019. “The European Green Deal rightly puts climate and circular economy policies at the core of the objective to re-shape Europe’s economy and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050”, it says.
EuRIC strongly welcomes the emphasis placed on the need to build a robust and integrated single market for secondary raw materials and by-products and the consideration for mandatory recycled content in targeted streams which are both much needed to alleviate obstacles to circular value chains in Europe and beyond as well as to boost the market for secondary raw materials. Equally important is the need to strengthen circular product policy, green public procurement and to empower consumers’ in making sustainable choices based on reliable information.
For Cinzia Vezzosi, President of EuRIC, the European recycling industry is eager to work with the Commission services, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to turn the ambition of the European Green Deal into reality and deliver a Circular Economy Action Plan 2.0 that addresses a number of challenges impacting the recycling industry. Meeting the objectives of the Green Deal requires deeper cooperation across value chains; EuRIC is fully committed to play its part, she added.
FEAD also supports the ambitious strategy proposed by the European Commission and its European Green Deal. The federation highlights that the circular economy can only be achieved through stronger demand for recyclates, efficient markets, and fair competition. It also asks the EU for strong and mandatory rules for eco-design, as a key tool for the prevention of waste and more recycling. Avoided CO2 emissions must be fully recognised in the entire waste management chain, and not focused solely on those resulting from manufacturing processes, FEAD adds
RReuse is quite more critically and states that the deal lacks urgency and detail on exactly how the EU proposes to implement such change. Michal Len, Director of RREUSE insisted that “Explicitly recognising and supporting thousands of social enterprises already delivering significant environmental and social impact within their communities is essential in future measures under the Green Deal”.
While it’s promising to see support for designing durable, repairable and re-useable goods, the Green Deal also falls short in terms of product re-use with no explicit backing for second-hand, albeit mentioning the importance of adopting “sustainable behaviours”.
In light of this, Michal Len noted that “Positive words supporting a circular transition are welcome but the Green Deal gives precious little insight on specific measures to boost support for the re-use sector”. Moving forward, specific and explicit support measures for re-use and second-hand practices should be made essential.