As discussions on the European circular economy package pick up speed, European Recycling Platform (ERP), a company of the Landbell Group, has called upon the European Parliament and its member states to concentrate on enforcing EU waste law in line with EU competition law.
With her recently published reports on the Commission’s proposal for recast waste directives, the rapporteur in the environment committee Simona Bonafè raised the level of ambition of the Commission proposal by combining mandatory targets and economic incentives.
ERP takes this opportunity to stress that waste and competition legislations must be regarded as interdependent components. Only with an integrated approach we will be able to manage a transformation to a circular economy that leverages full benefits for both the consumer and the environment. Especially when designing new requirements for extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes, an open and dynamic and at the same time reasonably governed market environment is crucial.
In a current policy guidance the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) emphasises the need to integrate competition policy and the design of EPR policies. According to the report, EPR schemes with multiple competing producer responsibility organizations (PROs) have helped reduce the public cost of waste management while at the same time increasing recycling rates.
“As the first pan-European PRO to implement the EU regulations on waste of electric and electronical equipment (WEEE), our high-quality recycling services have been encouraging the implementation of both national and EU compliance for more than 10 years now”, said Umberto Raiteri, ERP president and CEO.
“However, in some EU member states inconsistent legal enforcement and lack of compliance that has led to unnecessarily high prices for consumers as well as poor ecological performance. The current review of EU waste legislation is a great opportunity to define clear operating conditions and responsibilities in a competitive environment that allow PROs to deliver high-quality service in a level playing field.”
To increase the volume of product waste collected and recycled, impede free-riding and prevent individual interests overriding EU environmental principles, ERP recommends to implement a set of clearly defined and harmonised rules and responsibilities for each stakeholder in waste management, accompanied by a single national independent governance authority supervising the whole process while ensuring at the same time fair access to and free movement of waste both within each member state and across the EU.