Der Grüne Punkt - 27. February 2018

“A big step forward for the closed-cycle economy!”

Circular Economy Package soon to be approved / Strengthening the waste hierarchy through more recycling of valuable raw materials

Circlular Economy Package (Photo: Stephanie Hofschlaeger/pixelio)

Cologne, 27 February 2018. On the European level, two important processes for the closed-cycle economy are nearing finalization. The negotiating teams of Parliament and the Council Presidency had in late December 2017 already agreed in “informal tripartite negotiations” together with the Commission on compromises for the European Waste Frame Directive (WFD) and the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD). Following the consent of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the member states on 23 February 2018, the compromises were today also approved without changes by the responsible Environment Committee of the European Parliament. In the next step, scheduled for 16 April, the compromise will be formally voted on in a plenary session of the European Parliament. After this, the Council will presumptively accept the compromises without a debate. Following their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, the new directives will come into force, and the phase of implementation on a national level will begin.

Both these directives specify significantly higher recycling targets for the various types of waste involved:

  • Residential waste: by 2025 55 percent, by 2030 60 percent and by 2035 65 percent of the residential waste generated in the member state concerned must be recycled. Member states that in 2013 exhibited a recycling rate of under 20 percent or a landfilling rate of over 60 percent can claim transitional periods of up to five years and deviations of five percent for the recycling targets concerned.
  • Packages: by 2025 65 percent, by 2030 70 percent of the packaging waste generated in the member state concerned must be recycled. Transitional periods of up to five years and deviations of maximally 15 percent for one of the material targets or divided among two targets are possible, though none of the recycling targets must fall below 30 percent. The recycling of glass and paper must not fall below 60 percent.
  • Plastic packages: by 2025 50 percent, by 2030 55 percent of the plastic-package waste generated in the member state concerned must be recycled.

The Commission will in future be monitoring the member states’ progress more closely. Member states that claim transitional periods must notify the Commission of this 24 months in advance and submit a plan that explains the reasons for not reaching the targets. Moreover, they have to present measures for reaching these targets. In addition, the recycling targets for packages are already to be reviewed in 2024, and possibly increased.

As a basic principle, the member states are required by 2024 to introduce extended producer responsibility (EPR) for all packages, and put in place systems for this purpose. In Germany, a dual system of this kind has already been in place since 1991. The directives have to be incorporated into national law, and will thus have effects in Germany as well.

“The Circular Economy Package is a big step forward for the European closed-cycle economy, and confirms us in our efforts here in Germany,” emphasizes Michael Wiener, CEO of Der Grüne Punkt. “I particularly welcome the ambitious recycling targets tailored to the European waste hierarchy. We have to campaign in Europe for avoiding waste and, if that is not possible, for recycling it and thus keeping the materials concerned in circulation.” Michael Wiener also emphasizes: “Europe aims to end the landfilling of waste – improved recycling and higher targets are important steps for this purpose. With what are in some cases extremely long transitional periods for reducing the extent of landfilling in certain countries, however, Europe is running a risk of seeing valuable raw materials being destroyed by waste incineration, or some nations becoming Europe’s rubbish dumps.”

More about the Circular Economy Package under

Your contact person:
Norbert Völl, Tel.: +49 (0) 22 03 / 937-507

About the Der Grüne Punkt Group:
The companies of Der Grüne Punkt are as service providers for extended producer responsibility, as a leading supplier of secondary raw materials for plastics, and as a premium producer of plastic recyclates, the premier solution provider for the needs of the closed-cycle economy. Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD) is the market leader of the dual systems in Germany, and stands for intelligent take-back systems, plus the development and marketing of innovative recyclates and services. Systec Plastics, at its facilities in Eisfeld and Hörstel, produces premium-quality recyclates under the Systalen brandname for the international market. The companies are grouped together in DSD – Duales System Holding GmbH & Co. KG.