European recyclers have been calling for harmonized end-of-waste for many waste streams for a long time. The new Circular Economy Action Plan expressly calls for “Creating a well-functioning EU market for secondary raw materials” and lists as a priority action, the evaluation of “EU-wide end-of-waste criteria for certain waste streams based on monitoring Member States’ application”.
Behind this assessment lies the absolute need to go much faster in setting criteria at EU level, to define when waste ceases to be waste for priority streams. In order to invest in processes substituting extracted raw materials with raw materials from recycling, circular value chains need certainty.
This is all the more urgent that transitioning to a circular economy is a pre-requisite to Europe’s overarching goal of climate neutrality, embedded in the European Green Deal.