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[greenyes] EU inventory on Sustainable consumption and production.Oostend meeting Nov 2004

Melissa Shinn, the waste specialist for the European Environmental Bureau
(an international coalition of environmental groups focused on lobbying the
European Commission and related entities, asks if anyone in the states would
be interested in attending a on Sustainable Consumption and Production in
Ostend, Belgium, on 25-26 November 2004

The working paper states with regard to waste issues to be considered:

3.7. Waste

Waste Disposal

The EU is aiming for a significant cut in the amount of waste generated,
through new waste prevention initiatives, better use of resources, and
encouraging a shift to more sustainable consumption patterns. It wants to
reduce the quantity of waste going to 'final disposal' by 20% from 2000 to
2010, and by 50% by 2050, with special emphasis on cutting hazardous waste.

Concerning improving final disposal and monitoring, where possible, waste
that cannot be recycled or reused should be safely incinerated, with
landfill only used as a last resort. Both these methods need close
monitoring because of their potential for causing severe environmental
damage. The EU has recently approved a directive setting strict guidelines
for landfill management. It bans certain types of waste, such as used tyres,
and sets targets for reducing quantities of biodegradable rubbish. Another
recent directive lays down tough limits on emission levels from
incinerators. The EU also wants to reduce emissions of dioxins and acid
gases such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxides (SO2), and hydrogen
chlorides (HCL), which can be harmful to human health.

Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling

A fundamental element of Community legislation on waste is that Member
States must promote the recovery of waste (meaning reuse, recycling and
other forms of recovery such as use as a fuel) over waste disposal.

Recycling of particular types of waste is also directly promoted. In
particular, recycling of large quantities of packaging is mandatory since
2001. Recycling targets have also been fixed for electric and electronic
waste in the WEEE directive and for end-of-life vehicles in the ELV
Directive and must be reached by Member States by 2006 with another set of
more ambitious targets for the recycling of end-of-life vehicles to be
reached by 2009. The WEEE and ELV Directives also encourages design for
recycling by making producers responsible for achieving these targets and
through provisions concerning better design. Additionally, the Community
allows regulatory relief for businesses recycling waste, for example Member
States can under certain conditions exempt recyclers from needing an
administrative permit
The Community is currently elaborating a policy to develop further recycling
policy. This new policy will be contained in the Thematic Strategy on the
Prevention and Recycling of Waste[1] which is planned for 2004.

Waste prevention is the first priority of the waste management hierarchy
contained in Community legislation on waste. This includes both quantitative
prevention (producing less waste) and qualitative prevention (reducing the
hazardous character of waste.

The Community mainly favours waste prevention through integrated and life
cycle approaches. For example, waste prevention is an integral part of BAT
and the BREFs that have been developed in the framework of the IPPC
directive include information on waste reduction. Other examples are the
EMAS and Eco-label voluntary schemes and the greening of public procurement

Qualitative prevention is also promoted through regulatory measures limiting
the use of hazardous substances. This is mainly achieved through the
chemicals policy, and complemented by waste legislation. The latter contains
bans of certain hazardous substances, mainly heavy metals, to avoid the
arising of wastes contaminated by these substances. This concerns packaging,
end-of-life vehicles and electric and electronic equipment.

Waste Shipment

The Waste Shipment Regulation (EEC) No 359/93[2] establishes provisions
regarding procedures, control and supervisions of shipments of all waste
within, into and out of the Community. It implements i.a. the Basel
Convention on transboundary hazardous waste.

Different control procedures are applied depending on the type of waste
shipped (hazardous or non-hazardous), its destination and treatment
(recovery or disposal). In relation to shipments of waste for disposal and
to shipments of hazardous and semi-hazardous waste for recovery a system of
prior written notification and consent is established. This system allows
the competent authorities to take all necessary measure to ensure the
protection of human health and the environment. It includes the possibility
of objecting to a shipment for environmental reasons/concerns.

To protect the environment in third countries from impacts of hazardous
waste originating from EU Member States the Regulation also bans export of
hazardous waste from EU Member States to non-OECD countries.

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