ENVI vote on the WFD & PPWD - EUROPEN Recommendations to Council

EUROPEN’s recommendations for Council following the ENVI vote on the Waste Framework Directive and Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive
February 2017

Taking into account the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee vote on the amendments to the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) and Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), EUROPEN wishes to make some recommendations for the Council of Ministers to consider during their on-going negotiations.

Safeguard a strong Internal Market
ENVI voted to safeguard the Internal Market objective and legal base of the PPWD. EUROPEN strongly supports this outcome, which will preserve the Single Market for packaging and packaged goods. Nevertheless, ENVI introduced some new elements that could potentially disrupt the Internal Market.

Recommendation: ensure that the Internal Market is explicitly and consistently safeguarded in relation to measures such as packaging reuse and national waste reduction targets within EPR.

Extended - but not Endless – Producer Responsibility for waste management
EU harmonised Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) general requirements will increase transparency, cost efficiency, accountability and enforcement of EPR obligations. They will also help ensure that producers know what they are paying for, and that all stakeholders fulfil their respective roles and responsibilities. We welcome the improvements that ENVI has made to the proposed EPR general requirements, in particular about efforts to demarcate producers’ responsibility with a closed list of costs (“as follows”). We are also encouraged that the roles and responsibilities of all actors will be defined at national level, in line with the subsidiarity principle.

Recommendations: bring further legal clarity to EPR’s definition and objectives; ensure producers’ costs are proportionate in view of their nationally-determined role and responsibility and are based on the necessary and optimised cost of the services provided in cases where public waste management operators are responsible for implementing operational tasks on behalf of the EPR scheme. 

Separate collection of packaging materials for recycling
ENVI has voted to ban the incineration of separately collected waste, “with the exception of residue resulting from the sorting of that waste”(1), in addition to the ban of separately collected (packaging) waste to landfill(2). We would like to see “residue” clarified. Also these stricter conditions require the retention of separate collection where technically, environmentally and/or economically practical(3) (TEEP) in the WFD review. This flexibility ensures an ultimate outlet to cater for those materials and formats that currently cannot be recycled. For instance, in the case of packaging, this can be due to technical functionalities for product/ distribution needs or - the lack of recycling solutions today. This caveat ensures a life cycle approach in legislation as it considers the resource efficiency of a product and packaging taken together. However, this flexibility should go hand in hand with the proper implementation and enforcement of the separate collection art. 11 in the current 2008 WFD(4) in all Member States.
Recommendation: support the implementation and enforcement of separate collection as laid down in art. 11 of the current 2008 WFD, along with the condition of technical, environmental and economic practicability.

Crediting reuse efforts
ENVI has called for indicative reuse targets to be set at Member State level. We welcome the indicative nature. In addition, we recommend establishing a harmonised approach for the calculation methodology, the data collection and verification and determining a baseline, before introducing any new target.

We also support ENVI’s decision to maintain the current definition of “preparation for reuse” in the WFD. This will allow the crediting of reuse efforts as follows: allow Member States to deduct reusable packaging from ‘packaging waste generated’ in order to calculate recycling rates, giving credit to Member States who have invested in reuse systems. This would make the data a more accurate reflection of reality, as it would mean that Member States would no longer report on ‘packaging placed on the market’ (all packaging) as a proxy for ‘packaging waste generated’ (excludes reusable packaging).  

Recommendations: consider feasibility study prior to setting reuse targets with harmonized baseline, calculation methodology and data collection method; allow Member States to deduct reusable packaging from ‘packaging waste generated’ in order to calculate recycling rates, and thus crediting those Member States who have invested in reuse systems.

For more information, please contact packaging@europen-packaging.eu

(1) Adopted ENVI Compromise amendment 30 on the report of Ms Bonafè on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
(2) Article 1 paragraph (2)b of the proposed Directive amending Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste.
(3) WFD review – Article 1 paragraph 10 (a) 1: Article 11 is amended as follows: Member States shall take measures to promote high quality recycling and, to this end, shall set up separate collection of waste where technically, environmentally and economically practicable and appropriate to meet the necessary quality standards for the relevant recycling sectors and to attain the targets set out in paragraph 2.';
(4) Article 11 paragraph 1of the Directive 2008/98/EC on waste: “by 2015 separate collection shall be set up for at least the following: paper, metal, plastic and glass, if technically, environmentally and economically practicable”.