Development of End Of Waste Criteria for Waste Plastic for Conversion

As you may be aware a legal framework to govern “end-of-waste status” for specific waste types has been created under Article 6 of Revised Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC. The benefits of this approach include supporting recycling markets, increasing recycling (with consequent saving of material resources, energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions) and improving the implementation of waste management law.

This is to be achieved by setting quality criteria for specific secondary raw materials via Community legislation that is legally binding in its application to all Member States, harmonising the various criteria to be used by Member States across the EU, thereby creating legal certainty and reducing administrative burden.

In 2011 the European Commission set up a Technical Working Group (TWG) for the development of technical proposals on end-of-waste criteria for waste plastic for conversion. The purpose of the TWG is to support the European Commission in preparing measures with specific criteria under Article 6 of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD – 2008/98/EC).

The work of the group was managed by the JRC-IPTS of the European Commission. The Commission has indicated that it may propose, on the basis of this work, legislation governing the application of end of waste criteria for waste plastic for conversion under the regulatory procedure referred to in Articles 6(2) and 39(2) of the WFD (‘comitology’).

The TWG met twice (November 2011 & May 2012) in workshop format and used as a starting point a working document developed by the IPTS. The two workshops focused on the development of the document which contains technical proposals on end-of-waste criteria for waste plastic for conversion.

The Department is now inviting comments on the attached working document which has been prepared by JRC-IPTS of the European Commission. The proposed criteria are outlined in Chapter 3 with a summarised version in Annex VI. The Department is inviting views/comments on the proposals and would particularly draw attention to the following:-

• Scope- the document limits scope to mechanical recycling (chemical or feedstock recycling not included). Please note that mechanical and chemical/feedstock recycling are defined in the document.
Appropriate input materials – proposed negative list approach which means that certain items will be excluded. However it is proposed in the document to only exclude healthcare waste. Should other input be excluded?
Product quality – in particular is the suggested non plastic component( p 141) of less than 1% appropriate? (Note non plastic means any material which is not plastic but excludes materials that are integral constituents of the plastic structure such as fillers and reinforcements). Non hazardousness and how this should be determined? In particular the relationship to REACH and CLP ( p 145)
Processes and Techniques ( p 150) – should these be more specific e.g. specify size reduction to a maximum size, prescribe polymer specific or origin specific minimum treatments?
Provision of information – i.e. what in your opinion is required to demonstrate that EoW criteria have been satisfied? See Section 3.5 of document.
Quality Management – would you endorse a requirement to join EuCertPlast or similar scheme as a requirement? ( see page 159).

Furthermore your response to the questions posed throughout the document would provide us with very useful information.

It is important when submitting comments that consideration is always given to the 4 basic conditions for End of Waste as they have been defined in Article 6 of the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC):

‘Certain specified waste shall cease to be waste within the meaning of point (1) of Article 3 when it has undergone a recovery, including recycling, operation and
complies with specific criteria to be developed in accordance with the following
conditions:

(a) the substance or object is commonly used for specific purposes;
(b) a market or demand exists for such a substance or object;
(c) the substance or object fulfils the technical requirements for the specific purposes and meets the existing legislation and standards applicable to products; and
(d) the use of the substance or object will not lead to overall adverse environmental or human health impacts.

The criteria shall include limit values for pollutants where necessary and shall take into account any possible adverse environmental effects of the substance or object.’

Submissions and comments on this draft Working Document are invited from Industry and other interested parties and should be forwarded in writing or by email, to the address indicated below by Friday 22nd June, 2012. Please ensure that all correspondence is clearly marked with “ End of Waste Criteria for Waste Plastic for Conversion” .

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