March 11, 2020

FEAD sees the new Circular Economy Action Plan as an essential component in the fight against climate change

Brussels, 11 March 2020
FEAD welcomes the ambitious new Circular Economy Action Plan put forward by the European Commission for a cleaner and more competitive Europe. It will be an essential component in the fight against climate change and protecting the environment.

Peter Kurth, FEAD’s President, comments: “This Action Plan is extremely important to us. By collecting, sorting, recycling, and disposing of waste, private waste management companies are at the very heart of the circular economy. However, to play our major role we especially need strong and responsive recycling markets. Our companies need positive, ambitious, and concrete signals to go by, many of which are in the Action plan adopted today”.

FEAD expresses its full support in the following key areas:

  • Work on mandatory recycled content in certain products, such as packaging, automotive, and construction etc. FEAD strongly recommends that paper should also be included.
  • Set up mandatory green public procurement rules.
  • Examine recycling targets on industrial and commercial waste.
  • Develop binding rules on eco-design and appropriate labelling. This is an absolute prerequisite to achieve quality recycling.

But FEAD raises some concerns:

  • Recycling markets have to remain open and competitive. EPR schemes can help, but only if properly managed, to improve the collection and recycling of household waste but should not be extended to industrial and commercial waste.
  • The issue of exports must be carefully examined with the aim to create viable economic conditions on EU recycling markets and to ensure environmental protection in case of waste shipments outside of the EU.
  • Further initiatives must be introduced to ensure the correct implementation of the existing European acquis, that to date has not been properly enforced or applied in half the EU countries.
  • Measures must be taken to reduce large scale land filling, and consequently to shift waste treatments higher up in the hierarchy.
  • The entire waste management chain avoids more CO2 emissions than it emits. Recycled PET, aluminum, and textiles avoid more than 90% CO2 emissions in comparison to products originating from virgin materials. This positive contribution has to be recognised.