Brussels 7 Luglio 2017
Analysing the interface between chemicals, products and waste legislation: european engineering industries’ suggestions on how to move forward
Orgalime welcomes the possibility to comment on the Roadmap “Analysis of the interface between chemicals, products and waste legislation and identification of policy options”.
The sector considers this initiative both, timely and highly relevant, as European engineering industries have been investing over decades into developing and manufacturing plenty of different technological solutions to societal challenges, including resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water quality and efficiency, air quality, waste and waste water collection, sorting or treatment technologies, or more circularity. We not only offer solutions to maintain the value of products, materials or resources in the economy for longer and minimise waste generation, such as through repair, remanufacturing or refurbishment of appliances and systems by Original Equipment Manufacturers and/or accredited centres. We attach great emphasis to continuously reducing resource input into companies’ own processes and products, as the most resource efficient solution is the one that does more with the same or with less. The activities of our companies in the EU provide direct jobs to some 11 million Europeans and, with the ongoing digitisation of industry as the key driver of growth, we expect a further boost of simultaneously improving productivity, energy, water, resource and cost efficiency through technology manufactured in Europe for the world.
As a global industry with many European technology champions, we compete through quality, innovation and skills: Easy access to competitive, affordable and quality raw materials that satisfy technological needs is an essential prerequisite for our industries’ competitiveness and innovation capacities, as much in a linear as in a Circular Economy.
In its resource and Circular Economy activities, our sector encounters a number of important barriers. These are mostly regulatory (as we specify further in this paper), partly economic (notably consumer demand, attitude, (un)willingness to pay or inappropriate consumer behaviour during use or waste phase), partly practical, but rarely technical, which we would be pleased to see resolved by the current initiative.
In particular, we confirm the following key types of regulatory barriers:
- The lagging or incomplete implementation or enforcement of legislation, notably of the Waste Framework Directive and the Waste Exports of Shipment Regulations
- Different and conflicting national implementation of legislation, most notably Directives and national action plans, observed in the context of the Waste Framework Directive, Basel Convention or WEEE Directive
- Pieces of legislation that conflict each other because they represent conflicting values and for which “balanced choices” from a life cycle perspective will be essential.
Regarding the latter, such legislative conflicts arise between the following environment policy instruments that apply to our sector in parallel: Waste Framework Directive, WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU, RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU, REACH Regulation 1907/2006, Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC and Energy Labelling Framework 2010/30/EU (review). Other relevant tools include further waste policy acquis (Landfill Directive), the Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU or the Ecolabel Regulation 66/2010 and EMAS Regulation 1221/2009.
The type of conflicts between these environment policy instruments mainly arises in the following respects (which we specify in the annex):
- Double, overlapping and/or inconsistent product information requirements on manufacturers under Ecodesign implementing measures, WEEE, RoHS, REACH and Energy Labelling
- Conflicting requirements regarding product performances (energy consumption, water consumption, durability, restriction of the use of certain substances or end of life requirements)
- Conflicting and/or parallel evaluations and regulations that restrict the use of certain substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) under REACH and RoHS
- Conflicting requirements regarding the push for increasing quantities of secondary raw materials and product specific regulation, such as substance restrictions
- Extended producer responsibility requirements for waste electrical and electronic equipment under the (proposed amended) Waste Directive and sector specific WEEE Directive.