26 FEBRUARY 2018

EU Waste Package - European Aluminium reaction

European Aluminium welcomes the positive vote on the compromise text on the EU Waste Package by the 28 Representatives of EU Member States (COREPER) that took place on Friday 23rd of February.

In reaction to the vote, Gerd Götz European Aluminium Director General said:

“The approval of the compromise text on the EU Waste Package by the 28 Representatives of EU Member States (COREPER) on the 23rd of February is a positive signal in favour of the Circular Economy. European Aluminium is looking forward to a positive vote by the European Parliament Environment Committee on the 26th of February.

We are particularly pleased with the decision to phase out landfill and to increase the recycling targets for household and packaging waste. Although the targets and the timeframe could have been more ambitious, we acknowledge that some Member States need more time to catch-up with the more advanced ones. We strongly recommend the former to increase the level of investments in innovative collection and sorting systems. Adequate and efficient infrastructures and technologies are profitable investments, in particular for multiple recyclable and valuable materials such as aluminium. In this respect, we are pleased with the new split recycling target for aluminium packaging and the fact that the recovery of metals from incinerator bottom ash is taken into account. These extra quantities will certainly help to meet the new targets by 2025 and 2030. We agree that the new targets should be measured after the final sorting phase, just before the final recycling phase. This ensures real recycling and forces Member States to report on the same basis.

We see also additional progress in the recognition that the present target for the construction and demolition waste (C&DW) stream is not a recycling target. It is a recovery target since it includes backfilling. Backfilling is a practice that does not keep the value of the materials in the economy and is therefore not part of the Circular Economy. For this reason, we welcome the provision asking the EU Commission to consider the setting of preparing for reuse and recycling targets for C&DW by 31 December 2024.

Last but not least, we strongly recommend the European authorities to apply the same environmental, health and safety conditions for recycling waste outside Europe as inside Europe. To really close the loop of the Circular Economy and enhance security of raw materials’ supply, the EU should aim at minimizing the leakage of secondary raw materials leaving the continent to other regions. The upcoming review of the EU Waste Shipment Regulation will be an excellent opportunity to address this.”

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