Renewable energy proposal boycotts circular economy

Gabi Schoenemann, pixelio.de
Gabi Schoenemann, pixelio.de

As the European Parliament and Member States gear up for the next negotiations on May 17th, the Council’s latest position promote the inclusion of recycled carbon fuels within the scope of the revised directive (RED II).

Ariadna Rodrigo, Zero Waste Europe’s Product Policy officer, said “the proposed inclusion of plastic waste in the definition of recycled carbon fuels would jeopardise any incentive to bring about a reduction of plastic pollution in Europe”.

Janek Vahk, Zero Waste Europe’s Policy Coordinator, added: “if this proposal goes through, fuels derived from plastics will be promoted through mandatory transport targets, as fuel suppliers will be required to put a certain minimum share of plastic-based fuels on the EU market”.

Ariadna Rodrigo said: “there is a concrete risk for such a requirement to have a negative impact on the strategic goals of the EU Plastics Strategy and the Circular Economy legislation to make all plastic reusable or recycled by 2030.” “If plastics are turned into fuel, the incentive to redesign plastics that are currently difficult to recycle is lost”, added Rodrigo.

The Renewable Energy proposal, as it stands, creates negative incentives to meet any of the following Directives and Strategies:

  • the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, that requires Member States to move from landfill and incineration to recycling, by setting a 55% recycling target by 2020;
  • the Plastic Strategy , which places a strong focus on designing plastic products for recyclability and reusability;
  • the upcoming legislation on single-use plastics , which aims to reduce plastic pollution at source by introducing measures to ensure highest collection and recyclability of the most littered items. 
Zero Waste Europe urges Member States’ ministers in the upcoming trilogue on May 17 to amend the Renewable Energy proposal by explicitly excluding plastic to fuels from the scope of the Directive.

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