10 September 2015

The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy

ECN Positon Statement on CE, 19 August 2015

With the response on the first public consultation in the EU consultation process on Circular Economy (CE) ECN has submitted a position paper under the title ‘The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy’. Besides the ecological and economic benefits, which go hand in hand with sustainable biowaste management in Europe, the position paper includes specific proposals for updating the existing waste legislation and policy recommendations for further developments in the biowaste sector.

Recycling biodegradable wastes and resource efficiency lie at the heart of the circular economy. According to the ‘Communication on Future Steps in Bio-Waste Management in the European Union’ (COM(2010)235) the EU produces between 118 and 138 million tonnes of bio-waste each year.

To achieve effective biowaste recycling and drive the development in the right direction throughout the EU and its regions, a coherent EU waste legislation framework in junction with consistent economic instruments and funding policies is needed.

Moving towards a more circular economy needs to be accompanied by updating the existing waste legislation in Europe. Therefore, the European Compost Network calls on the EU to:

  • Set an obligation for implementing separate collection of biowaste in the member states as a guiding principle.
  • Establish targets for biowaste recycling (biowaste recycling targets based on separate collection) as a fundamental and result-oriented driver to secure investment in sustainable recycling of biowaste.
  • Develop clear and well-targeted provisions and harmonized calculation methods in order to help Member state administrations and municipalities to develop integrated recycling schemes.
  • Finalise the end-of-waste criteria for compost and digestate, so as to facilitatefurther developments of European markets for these products.
  • Develop a comprehensive product – resource-based – waste legislation to support the use of secondary materials recycled from organic waste.

The full position paper on ‘The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy’ is available here.

The full response to the public consultation of ECN is available here.

Source: European Compost Network, press release, 2015-08-27.

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