The EuPC, the Brussels-based European plastics trade body, has said that it welcomes the European Commission's (EC's) new Circular Economy proposal, which follows the withdrawal at the beginning of 2015 of a previous proposal made in 2014.
However, the EuPC states that it is worried that the level of legal clarity contained in the package is not sufficient to guide companies in Europe towards a circular economy.
EuPC Managing Director Alexandre Dangis said: “EuPC was hoping for more clarity and harmonisation of the EU waste acquis across EU 28 Member States, however, we fail to see a harmonised approach in the package and we therefore question the level of ambition of this new proposal on provisions on landfilling, EPR schemes and end‐of‐waste criteria.”
The EuPC notes that the proposal needs more clarity on the difference between recycling and reuse. It also highlights that instead of pursuing an eventual landfill ban for recyclables by 2025, which the EuPC supports and which was in the 2014 proposal, the Commission proposes a 90% reduction in landfilling of municipal waste by 2030.
Looking at the proposal's inclusion of economic incentives for producers to put greener products on the market and support recycling, Dangis added: “plastics converters are constantly innovating to produce more sustainable products and are working on increasing the recovery and recycling of their products in the building and construction sector, packaging sector, automotive and many more.”
The EC's package will now be sent to the European Parliament and the Council to look at, with the institutions working on their positions in the first quarter of 2016.