EuRIC Expresses Concern over Equating Recycling with Destruction

The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) welcomes the adoption of the report on the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), with 473 votes in favor, 110 against and 69 abstentions, by the European Parliament today.

With only around 12% of material resources stemming from recycled materials, the European economy remains largely linear up to this date and there is significant room for improvement through ecodesign criteria. “The ESPR will drive proper design that will not only allow for products to be easily repaired and reused, but it will also facilitate disassembly and recycling at the end of life. Ultimately, it shall boost the use of recycled materials back into products through ambitious recycled content targets that are essential to drive ecodesign and boost circular value chains’’ said Emmanuel Katrakis, Secretary General of EuRIC.

However, while EuRIC believes that the European Parliament’s report on the ESPR plays a pivotal role in the adoption of an appropriate legal framework for ecodesign of products, it remains concerned by a provision that introduces recycling as a form of destruction within the framework of banning the destruction of unsold goods. “We fully support the ban on the destruction of unsold goods and the emphasis placed on following the waste hierarchy’’ highlighted Emmanuel Katrakis. “However, we strongly believe that equating recycling with destruction is conceptually wrong.” EuRIC believes that where remanufacturing or preparation for reuse is not possible, recycling should not be excluded as an option to treat unsold goods as recycling is also a recovery operation, unlike incineration and landfilling which are both disposal operations.

Source: EuRIC (Brussels, July 12, 2023)