July 12, 2022

Safe and efficient waste shipments drive the circular economy

Press release, the European Waste Management Association organised a successful event on the ongoing Waste Shipment Regulation revision.

FEAD’s President – Mr Peter Kurth warmly welcomed all attendees in person and online with a special thanks to Ms Pernille Weiss, Rapporteur at European Parliament, to the Commission’s representative, Mr Yorg Aerts, Policy Officer at European Commission DG ENV, Jurek Zaroffe – Prezero, member of BDE, Chris Slijkhuis – Former Manager at MGG Polymers and member of VOEB, Isabelle Conche – Fnade, Gunnar Grini – Norsk Industry, Baudouin Ska – Denuo, Monica Harting Pfeifer – Public Affairs Manager at Remondis, member of BDE, Xavier Lhoir – Valipac, and Katie Olley – Shipment of Waste Enforcement Actions Project.

The event was moderated by FEAD’s Secretary-General, Valerie Plainemaison and focused on the importance of comprehensive logistical chains across the EU and around the world, to achieve a circular and a more resource efficient economy.

MEP Pernille Weiss highlighted that “the WSR proposal is an important driver of the green transition, and environmentally sound circularity is key for an open and competitive climate-proof EU economy”.

In the first part of the event, the discussion focused on intra-EU shipments that are essential for recycling, recovery and disposal operations as facilities are becoming highly specialised and not all Member States have on their territory all facilities to treat all waste streams. Moreover, the role of pre-consented facilities is key: simplifying and aligning the bureaucratic burden will foster investment in recovery infrastructure. As highlighted by Mr Slijkhuis, “valuable secondary raw materials need to move at the speed of business and not at the speed of the administration”.

During the conversation on hazardous waste, Ms Conche noted that “the current EU network of hazardous waste facilities is adequate to answer the EU wide demand for the industry, but there is no technical and economic viability to build capacities in all EU Member States for such highly specialised plants”.

In the second part of the event dedicated to exports outside the EU, FEAD experts highlighted the reasons why a general ban cannot be the solution in a circular economy. The waste management industry supports therefore a waste-stream specific approach differentiating problematic from non-problematic flows. A well-established auditing system of the receiving facilities would ensure traceability and guarantee environmentally sound recovery treatments.

FEAD warmly thanks all the panellists for their participation and welcomes the large interest expressed by attendees across Europe, online, and in person.

Peter Kurth, FEAD President:

safe and efficient procedures for intra EU waste shipments are crucial if we want to close the loop of the circular economy in Europe. It needs to be understood that sometimes we need not the nearest facility but the best facility. Safe exports of non-hazardous waste flows remain necessary in a global economy where materials from waste are used by manufacturing industries across the world. The sad pictures of plastic waste pollution that we regularly see should be a motivation to promote more and better waste management in the EU and around the world. Our industry is crucial for the circular economy and for the environment because it saves energy, it saves CO2 emissions, and it stabilises the supply of raw materials.”