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EC recycling rate calculation methods ‘not suitable’

Europe – Europe’€™s electronics manufacturing and recycling industries have called for consistency in the calculation of recycling rates.

According to home appliance industry organisation CECED, electronics producers body DIGITALEUROPE, e-scrap recyclers association EERA and the WEEE Forum, the European Commission proposal for calculating recycling rates will ‘not support’ the transition towards a circular economy.

‘The calculation methods for recycling rates are not suitable,’ they stress. ‘The proposal fails to provide an accurate method to calculate the real material recycling rates, and therefore fails to encourage the development of high-quality materials recycling in accordance with EU treatment standards such as the EN 50625 series in our sector.’

It is argued that the weight of the input waste entering the final recycling process should not be considered equivalent to the weight of municipal waste recycled, as laid down in the proposal Article 11a.1.

‘This assumption disregards the reality of impurities and assumes the ability of the process to sort and recycle all the fractions that enter the facility as 100%,’ the bodies contend.

‘For example, if a fraction composed of 80% of recyclable plastics and 20% of impurities enters a plastics recycling process with a 95% yield, then according to the new methodology laid down in the WFD (Waste Framework Directive), this fraction could be considered 100% recycled. However, in practice, this fraction would only be recycled up to 76%, ie 80% times 95% (purity of the fraction multiplied by recycling performance).’

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