Member States to phase-out subsidies to incineration

The European Parliament and the Council agreed today on energy-from-waste related provisions that will bring the Renewable Energy Directive more into line with a Circular Economy.
Gabi Schoenemann, pixelio.de
Gabi Schoenemann, pixelio.de

The revised provisions will require Member States to ensure that their national renewable policies, including support schemes, are designed with due regards to the principles of the waste hierarchy. It also stipulates that Member States should fulfill their separate collection obligations in line with the Waste Framework Directive, and exclude renewable energy subsidies for waste incineration if this obligation has not been complied with.

“Despite the watering down of several amendments, the Parliament succeeded in introducing some important safeguards that prioritise the separate collection and recycling of waste, in line with the requirement of the EU waste legislation” said Janek Vahk, Zero Waste Europe’s Development and Policy Coordinator. “Member States are also required to avoid support schemes that contradict these obligation”, added Mr Vahk.

However, Zero Waste Europe is concerned about the inclusion of transport fuels from solid waste of non-renewable origin such as plastics in the scope of the revised directive. According to the text, Member States could require fuel suppliers to put a minimum share of plastic-based fuels on the EU market to meet their mandatory transport targets via these fuels.

“Such a requirement is not aligned with the strategic goals of the EU Plastics Strategy and the Circular Economy Package, jeopardises any efforts to reduce plastic pollution in Europe and desincentivises plastic recycling”, said Vahk. “If plastics are turned into fuel, the incentive to redesign plastics that are currently difficult to recycle is lost” he added.

Zero Waste Europe calls now on Member States to promptly transpose the adopted safeguards and to exclude any support for fuels from plastic, so as to ensure compliance with EU legislation.

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