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Recyclers: an appeal to the EU and international institutions

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Aim high, and pay attention to sector industries and market-driven norms, says the Bureau of International Recycling.

The EU norms for the circular economy should aim high, be market-driven, and be compatible with the recycling industry. These are the requests coming from the convention of the Bureau of International Recycling in Prague.

“Recyclers turn waste into new resources and reintroduce them back into the economy – declared Emmanuel Katrakis, the Secretary General of the European Confederation of recycling industries – This is a fundamental element of the circular economy and we are hoping for it to be fully acknowledged by the legislation.” In particular, Katrakis asked for a correction of the normative distortions that impose higher costs to those who use recycled materials. He also prompted a free and equal access to international markets, “so as to always obtain a fair price, both in Europe and outside Europe.”

Ross Bartley, the head of the Bureau, joined Eric Harris, from the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, in his appeal to the members of the Bureau to support the Environmental Goods Agreement that will soon be completed by the World Trade Organization.

Bartley and Harris explained that this could be a fundamental turning point: if recycling machines and tools, as well as secondary raw materials, are listed among the Environmental Goods, then recycling could experience a significant increase, because it would be freed from the inefficient mix of tariff and non-tariff barriers imposed to Member Stats by the World Trade Organization in the Environmental Goods Agreement.

Bartley also pointed out that at a UNO level, the Convention of Basel is currently seeking partnership opportunities with the industry sector to update its guidelines and work on a better management of urban waste, with a particular focus on the needs of the developing countries.

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