Plastics producers welcome agreement on EU Waste Framework Directive

PlasticsEurope, the association of European plastics manufacturers, welcomes today`s adoption of the revised EU Waste Framework Directive by the European Parliament. The directive marks an important step towards improved resource efficiency and the reduction of landfill in Europe, thus decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the climate.

Jan-Erik Johansson, Advocacy Director at PlasticsEurope, commented: - Europe can no longer afford to waste its waste. Today`s vote recognises the importance of waste as a valuable resource. Calorific waste is a valuable and energy-rich resource that must not be landfilled. Every item that is recycled or recovered saves harmful methane emissions from landfills.

A recent study by the Prognos research institute showed that diverting calorific waste from landfill across Europe could save up to 27% of the EU`s 2020 CO2 emissions reduction target.

The directive adopted today notably contains a definition of recycling that encompasses both traditional "mechanical" and novel "feedstock" recycling technologies. This is essential to ensure continuing innovation in recycling technologies and gives stakeholders an incentive to keep using and investing in environmentally-friendly technologies.

Moreover, the plastics industry welcomes that the approved text recommends flexibility in the application of the waste hierarchy, which sets a priority order of waste treatment options. Treatment can deviate from the hierarchy, says the revised directive, if this is justified from a life-cycle perspective. Flexibility to use the best environmental and economic option for each waste stream will contribute to resource efficiency and climate protection.

This is also why the European plastics industry welcomes that the directive approved today paves the way for classifying energy-efficient energy-from-waste plants as recovery. - Together with the Landfill Directive this classification will create strong drivers in Member States to divert waste from landfill. Given the scarcity of energy resources, we need to make use of every viable complement to fossil fuels - Jan-Erik Johansson added.