Public Sector to make greater use of secondary raw materials

The EU Parliament’s own-initiative report adopted this month calls for an upgrading of secondary raw materials.

Among other things, it provides for stronger ecologically oriented public procurement with mandatory minimum criteria, for example in the construction industry. For the European network EUROSLAG and the FEhS Building Materials Institute, this is an important step towards a comprehensive approval of secondary building materials and their conditional prioritisation in public procurement tenders. For this to happen, however, European public procurement law must be amended, as a legal opinion by the law firm Kopp-Assenmacher & Nusser, commissioned by the two Duisburg institutions in 2020, found.

Thomas Reiche, Chairman at EUROSLAG and Managing Director of the FEhS Institute, now sees the ball in the European Commission’s court: “The own-initiative report provides the best foundation for binding, forward-looking legislation to consistently promote the circular economy. This also includes fair competition and the conditional prioritisation of secondary raw materials, as also demanded by the rapporteur of the European Parliament Jan Huitema. Only concrete procurement directives with third-party protection character ensure the Europe-wide use of all high-quality secondary building materials, which have been making an important contribution to ecologically and economically sound economic activity for decades!”

The European Parliament’s own-initiative report, under the lead of the Environment Committee, has adopted numerous demands based on the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan of March 2020. These include the promotion of resource efficiency, the Ecodesign Directive for products and green public procurement. Plans for the construction industry include specifications for the use of secondary raw materials and recycling. The Parliament’s proposals serve as a template for legislation by the European Commission.


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