EXPRA calls for sound waste legislation to be re-tabled in 2015

Acknowledging the Commission’s formal decision to withdraw the waste target proposal under the Circular Economy Package (published in the EU Official Journal, 7 March 2015), the Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA) calls on the EU Executive to live up to its commitment of delivering sound legislation setting new realistic recycling targets by the end of 2015.

EXPRA serves as the alliance for non-profit packaging and packaging waste recovery and recycling systems that are owned by obliged industry. In light of the contribution that our sector can make to efficient waste management and green growth in the EU, we call for new legislation that:

1. Safeguards and reinforces the primary role that Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has to play in the transition towards a circular economy. EPR is a policy approach that gives producers improved incentives to guarantee that packaging recovery and recycling are carried out in the most economically competent and sound manner. In order to ensure a streamlined implementation of EPR across the bloc, it is important that the EPR principle is appropriately incorporated into EU waste legislation and that strong and clear minimum requirements for EPR schemes are set.

2. Clearly defines the roles af all stakeholders taking part in the waste management chain.

3. Sets targets on the basis of a sound-based feasibility study.

4. Harmonises calculation methods for recycling rates and proposes a comprehensive reporting methodology that yields reliable waste management statistics in Europe.

5. Defines a clear timeline for zero-landfilling of recyclable waste alongside a clear set of measures that promote investment in alternative facilities.

EXPRA’s President, William Vermeir commented: ”EXPRA fully supports EU action to drive the Circular Economy forward through a new, more coherent proposal. EPR is a key tool to ensure both economically and environmentally sound waste management. This is why EPR minimum requirements should explicitly be integrated into the proposal for amending both the Waste Framework and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directives, and be made even more ambitious by outlining clear roles and responsibilities for the actors across the waste management chain”.

EXPRA’s Managing Director, Joachim Quoden, concluded: “Taking measures to improve waste management in Europe is fully in line with the new Commission’s priorities – this is a considerable commitment, which now has to be followed up with action. We therefore call on the Commission to come up as soon as possible with a proposal for the Waste Target Review, delivering realistic target levels, consistent recycling measurement and recognition of EPR”.