1. The Rapporteur stresses that there are various pathways to achieving high collection and recycling rates and a reduction in litter, including deposit-refund schemes or extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes; underlines that the choice of a certain scheme remains within the remit of the competent authority in the Member State, which can take local specificities into account and ensure that any existing well-performing and cost-efficient systems are not jeopardised;
2. The Rapporteur does not support the idea of an EU plastic tax. He is also eager to stress that fiscal policy remains a Member State competence, and therefore opposes the introduction of an EU-wide plastics tax as a potential own resource stream for the EU.
3. On quality standards, he refers to EuCertPlast but also calls on an independent third party certificate, suggesting the QA-CER certification scheme, developed by the Belgian Quality Association, as a model to follow. There is currently a mismatch between the quality of recycled plastics and the quality required for the functionality of a certain product. This is due to a lack of trust, verification and transparency. Developing recycling grades which match the functionality of various products and verification are key in this regard. A European audit scheme is already available for use, EuCertPlast. However, the rapporteur believes that an independent third party certificate, could equally offer an important step forward. The QA-CER certification scheme developed by the Belgian Quality Association could provide a model for Europe to follow.
4. He also mentions EPR as a tool to leverage for assisting companies in up-taking recycled content. The rapporteur welcomes the various positive public commitments by leading industry players on recycled content, but considers it key that these public commitments are turned into concrete pledges. However, this voluntary approach alone may not be sufficient: the rapporteur therefore believes that mandatory rules for recycled content for specific products may be needed. EPR and VAT modulations could support this.
You can read the draft report here. The adoption of report in ENVI is expected in the period 9-10 July