On February 27, the European Parliament approved the revised Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR), a significant step towards modernising intra-EU waste shipments rules.

EuRIC welcomes the objective of the revised rules, aimed at enhancing digital procedures to combat illegal waste shipments effectively. With a focus on distinguishing between waste and non-waste materials, EuRIC emphasises the importance of facilitating waste shipments as valuable resources, crucial for fostering an EU internal market for recycling.

However, EuRIC is deeply concerned about the uncertainty the new rules create for Europe’s recycling industries, as export restrictions on trade with non-EU countries fail to differentiate between various streams, materials, and markets. Recovered paper and recycled scrap metals, for instance, are traded on global markets as commodities. With insufficient demand for these resources from recycling within Europe, recycling levels and activity threaten to decline in Europe.

Regarding plastic waste generated in Europe, EuRIC supports efforts to enhance its efficient management. However, a complete ban on plastic exports without outlet possibilities within Europe severely harms EU plastic recyclers and the domestic plastic recycling industry.

EuRIC Secretary General, Emmanuel Katrakis, stated: “A coherent EU policy is urgently needed to align environmental, climate and industrial policy objectives towards economically and ecologically sustainable solutions – a necessity also showcased by the ongoing PPWR trilogue discussions.”

The ambiguity surrounding revised export rules under the WSR creates uncertainty among market actors regarding outlets for recycled resources. Given the endorsement of the WSR agreement by co-legislators, EuRIC remains committed to actively contributing to legislative acts aimed at fostering recycling and substituting primary raw materials with recycled resources in Europe and globally.


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