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Bird: Free scrap trade fundamental for a successful circular economy

The Bureau of International Recycling supports the recent initiative of its European member federation EuRIC regarding the potential impact of the upcoming European Waste Shipment Regulation on the free and fair global trade of raw materials from recycling.

In an open letter to the European Commission, EuRIC called for a clear distinction in the legal regime between ‘problematic waste streams’ and the raw materials from recycling (RMR). Nearly 300 European companies and national recycling associations co-signed the EuRIC letter which highlighted the potentially disastrous effects of a blanket prohibition on RMR exports.

‘At the height of the pandemic in Europe, the recycling industry was almost universally regarded as essential and was therefore allowed to continue in operation,’ comments BIR president Tom Bird. ‘It is only by maximising the substitution of primary raw materials by RMR that we will succeed in optimising the climate change mitigation effects of recycling. And what is true at a European level is even more true globally.’

Therefore, argues Bird, one of the first courses of action from the commission should be to engage with the recycling industry, listen to ‘our powerful arguments and create the circumstances in which our industry’s massive environmental potential can be fully unlocked’. The BIR president adds that ‘no circular economy can be seriously considered and achieved without a fluid global market for RMR’.

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