Start-up discussion on circular economy in Romania and Debate on authorization waste management operators and control procedures of PROs in Romania

Start-up discussion on circular economy in Romania

President of Commission for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Giovanni La Via, was present in Romania at a conference on circular economy organized on September 1st in Bucharest.

President La Via talked about the new way of thinking of the circular economy that will reshape the perceptions and approach about materials and products. “We have to do better with less and we have to do more about waste” he mentioned. He stressed that the new proposal on circular economy will represent the cooperation and a compromise between the proposals of European Council and the Parliament.

William Vermeir, EXPRA Chairman, present at the event, talked about the important role of EPR in increasing the recycling sector in EU. He mentioned that imposing higher goals is not sufficient and will have to analyses how the EU institutions will manage the paradox of ‘European legislation versus subsidiarity’.

Romania has a low level of recycling of municipal waste while is succeeds to reach the packaging waste recycling obligation mainly from the commercial flow. The separate collection from the household will need to be based on real costs and not the lowest ones promoted by the sanitation companies and accepted according with the law of public acquisitions. The representative of Eco-Rom Ambalaje, CEO Sorin Cristian Popescu, called for clear legislation that is not subject to annually change or even, sometimes, suddenly changes. These situations lead to unpredictable environment and impossibility to create a medium and long term planning from the obliged industry side.

Debate on authorization waste management operators and control procedures of PROs in Romania

The number of waste management companies increased and according to Ministry of Economy there are more than 300 companies. But in reality the number seems to be four times higher. The authorizations for their operations are given by the local environmental agency. In the last 4-5 years the activity of waste management increased as well as the complexity of the activities which is not always reflected in the authorizations. These have an influence on others activity working on the value chain of the packaging waste including the PROs.

Eco-Rom Ambalaje supported a round table discussion among Romanian environmental authorities and waste management companies – recyclers and collectors – organized at the end of July in Bucharest.

The Romanian PROs raise the subject of traceability of waste in Romania which includes authorizations for waste management activities. They are different from a region to another, sometimes are not clear and therefor are subject to different interpretations.

Eco-Rom Ambalaje has contracts with more than 200 waste management companies for which are requesting an increased number of documents in order to prove the traceability of the packaging waste. The participants at the seminar proposed that the entire control procedures should be part of a particular legislation and the existing provisions are not clear and enough. Eco-Rom Ambalaje calls for more transparency and less bureaucracy.

Romanian authorities recognized the need to change the legal framework for waste management authorizations and create a working group that will look closer at the practical situations that creates obstacles for a clear traceability.