The European Recycling Industries Confederation (EuRIC) has welcomed the provisional agreement on the revision of the EU Waste Shipments Regulation (WSR) which was reached last week in trilogue negotiations by representatives of the European Parliament and the Council. In an initial reaction, the umbrella association expressed its support for the Regulation's overarching aim of "ensuring that the EU does not export its waste challenges to third countries".
However, EuRIC added that it was essential to prevent unnecessary restrictions on exporting recycled raw materials classified as non-hazardous waste, especially for resource streams for which there was insufficient demand in the EU. "Replacing extracted raw materials with recycled ones is key to transitioning towards a circular and climate-neutral economy, both within and outside Europe," the organisation commented.
Regarding the provisional agreement's new restrictions on plastic waste exports, EuRIC said it was waiting for more details to assess the alignment of the rules with the EU’s legal obligations and their impact on the recycling industry. "Any excessive administrative burdens on third countries could severely affect Europe’s recycling industry and strategic raw materials autonomy," the organisation cautioned. EuRIC welcomed the decision not to require prior notification and consent for intra-EU shipments of green-listed waste for recovery and instead rely less stringent procedures as set out in the general information requirements of the WSR.
Furthermore, EuRIC reiterated its longstanding position that Brussels policymakers should facilitate transboundary waste transports within the EU for material recovery purposes without curbing access to international markets. "This approach is essential for balancing supply and demand, thus preserving the competitiveness of the European recycling industry and ensuring its ability to supply circular materials to circular value chains both in Europe and globally," the organisation commented.
EuRIC plans to publish a detailed analysis of the future WSR provisions once the full text agreed in the trilogue talks becomes available.
The compromise text must be endorsed by both the Parliament's plenary and by the Council for the revised WSR to become law. It will enter into force on the 20th day after its publication in the EU Official Journal.