The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) is yet another industry voice expressing concern about the potential impact on the global circular economy of the draft text for the revision of the Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) adopted by the European Parliament. "Exports to countries outside the EU - industrialised (OECD) countries and developing (non-OECD) countries – will be considerably burdened by intergovernmental agreements and inspections, audits and checks on facilities in third countries," the BIR said. The organisation believes that global concerns regarding plastic pollution will likely lead to a ban on waste plastic exports from the EU. It also sees these concerns contributing to the support for rules that would make it harder to export other recyclables "desired by industries around the world" from the European Union.
The umbrella organisation pointed out that several steps remained before the provisions of the revised WSR were finalised. As the next step the member states must agree to a "general approach" in the Council. Until the new Regulation appeared, BIR said it planned to continue to work with its members "to secure their future business". The organisation also urged governments of both OECD and non-OECD countries to analyse the effects of the proposed EU Regulation and asses how their own industries might be impacted.
BIR President Tom Bird feels very strongly about the potential damage that the proposed changes may inflict upon the international recycling industry. "I have mentioned many times that in my opinion these regulations represent a thinly disguised back-door protectionism that puts our industry in danger while severely disrupting the global circular economy,” he said. Mr Bird stressed that the trade of vital raw materials such as recycled metals should not be restricted, adding that "BIR as an organisation remains fully committed to ensuring exactly that – free trade of recyclables in a global circular economy!”