EU adopts revised waste shipment rules, EUROFER fears circumvention risks persist

Wednesday, 18 January 2023 15:26:31 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul
       

The EU Environment Committee has adopted revised rules of the Waste Shipment Regulation to boost the EU circular economy, resource efficiency and zero pollution goals. Accordingly, EU exports of hazardous waste to non-OECD countries will be prohibited, while exports of non-hazardous waste for recovery would be allowed only to those non-OECD countries that give their consent and demonstrate their ability to treat this waste sustainably.

The European Commission will also monitor waste exports to OECD countries more closely to ensure that they manage waste in an environmentally sound manner as required by the rules and that they do not adversely affect the management of domestic waste in those countries. 

“The text approved is a clear improvement compared to the initial Commission proposal. Yet, significant risks of circumvention persist as long as a genuine level playing field between the EU and third countries is not ensured, especially with respect to environmental, social, safety and health conditions in waste shipment and further treatment. Europe should not allow the export of its waste challenges abroad, even more so when waste such as ferrous scrap is a strategic secondary raw material in the circular economy and for decarbonization,” Axel Eggert, director general of the European Steel Association (EUROFER), said. 

According to the EUROFER official, a stronger monitoring system applied to the most exported waste flows to OECD countries is absolutely necessary, and a more granular and harmonized definition of facility is needed to ensure a rigorous enforcement of the facility-based audit system.


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