Europe – The opportunity to use recycled polymers as substitutes for virgin material remains ‘very much limited by current end-use application’, according to the latest publication by the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC).
In a newly published draft end-of-waste criteria for plastics meant for conversion, the JRC has updated its initial working document released last November. There is now more detail on the potential environmental and economic impact of the upcoming plastics criteria.
The JRC acknowledges the benefits of plastics recycling in terms of emissions, reduced fire risk and improvements to health, along with the possibility of cutting the cost of handling and shipping waste material. However, it also recognises that the extra sorting effort required will increase costs.
The in-depth analysis further points out that REACH obligations on safety information may form an ‘administrative burden’ for some parties, but adds that most recyclers do not consider this a major issue.
The future of end-of-waste seems quite promising; the JRC is preparing to publish a feasibility study for aggregates and waste-derived fuels over the summer. Technical recommendations for copper, paper and glass are likely to be accepted during a regulatory committee meeting in Brussels at the start of July.
Stakeholders have until 1 July to respond to the draft plastics criteria, and it is expected that final recommendations will be introduced by the end of the year.
To read the entire document, click here.