Sound management of hazardous substances in waste management and recycling activities is at the core of the circular economy. Recyclers have developed state-of-art separation techniques to safely treat a wide diversity of waste streams and recover valuable materials, hence directly contributing to the circular economy.
The Brochure published by EuRIC on ‘Sound Management of Waste & Chemicals Requirements’ highlights the main issues derived from the lack of interface between chemicals, product and waste legislation, and identifies simple solutions to boost the transition towards a more circular economy.
Christer Forsgren, Chair of the EuRIC’s Waste & Chemicals Task Force, Environmental & Technical Director at Stena Metall AB (Sweden), and Adjunct Professor in Industrial Material Recycling at Chalmers Technical University in Gothenburg, emphasized the key role that Europe’s recycling industry plays by reducing Europe’s dependency on primary materials and by saving massive amounts of CO2 and energy.
C. Forsgren stressed the importance of improving the interface between waste and chemical legislation by reducing legacy issues at product design stage, whenever possible, focusing on risks instead of hazards posed by substances of concern in safe recycling streams, and properly enforcing EU chemicals legislation at EU borders. The current lack of interface between these complex pieces of legislation is an important bottleneck to render value chains more circular, which is essential to make of Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050.