The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has announced that its response to the European Commissions public consultation on the circular economy calls for the Commission to put more emphasis on the “demand side” for recyclables.
The European Commission opened a public consultation in May this year to collect views on the main policy options for developing what it’s calling an “ambitious new approach on the circular economy”.
Within the package, expected towards the end of the year, the ESA also wants to see proper enforcement of legislation and tougher action against waste crime and to introduce more harmonised definitions and methods of calculating waste statistics.
ESA’s executive director, Jacob Hayler, said the Association believes there is greater scope for the European Commission to lead the way towards a more circular economy.
ESA – “…There is also a need for a more mature European debate about what recycling rates are realistic and sustainable in the medium and long term, taking into account any measures that are put in place to stimulate demand”
He said: “In our consultation response we have asked the Commission to put more emphasis on the demand side for recycled materials, by proposing minimum recycled content requirements for selected products; minimum green public procurement requirements at EU level to boost purchase of recycled products and materials; eco-labelling rules to incorporate indications of recycled content and recyclability and lower or zero rate of VAT on second hand goods and products with recycled content.
“ESA recognises that the circular economy is about more than recycling, and there is certainly a role for the European Commission to play when it comes to eco-design for durability and reparability. At the same time, there is also a need for a more mature European debate about what recycling rates are realistic and sustainable in the medium and long term, taking into account any measures that are put in place to stimulate demand.
“Another ESA priority is for the European Commission to improve statistics on raw and secondary material flows, which means clarifying and harmonising definitions and calculation methodologies. A more consistent approach to statistics will help member states compare performance in a more meaningful way and learn from best practice.
“Finally, ESA calls for full implementation and proper enforcement of existing legislation on waste and resource management in all Member States. This includes tackling waste crime, which significantly undermines the operations of compliant businesses, and has a significant impact on the environment and local communities.”
ESA’s response to the European Commissions public consultation on the circular economy is available upon request.