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EU Consulting on Functioning of Waste Markets

Possible market distortions caused by regulation could be affecting recycling and recovery of waste according to the European Commission (EC). They have launched a consultation seeking views on the current operation of the market. The EC state that the EU waste management industry has a high potential for growth and job creation and they are undertaking this consultation to “deepen our understanding of EU waste markets, focussing in particular on possible regulatory failures.”

Under current regulation, waste to be prepared for re-use, recycled or recovered must move freely within the EU. Only specific reasons may be used to restrict the free movement of waste for recycling and recovery (e.g. that the person shipping the waste has previously been convicted of illegal shipments) in line with Article 12 of the Waste Shipment Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on shipments of waste).

However, the Commission states there are cases where the regulatory environment could be hindering the efficient functioning of recycling and recovery markets.

The EC says “Some regulatory failures may arise in connection with the application and interpretation of EU legal requirements; others may be the result of national, regional or local rules and requirements which are not directly linked to EU legislation.” They add “Within the context of this consultation both types of regulatory failures are considered.”

The waste market consultation, runs from June 12th to September 4th. The information collected will feed into the development of the new circular economy strategy, which is also open for public consultation and due at the end of 2015.

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