Waste Framework Directive revision
The European Re-refining Industry Association (GEIR) is still focusing on the revision of the EU Waste Framework Directive, notably the introduction of regeneration targets for waste lubricating oils at EU level. In January 2017 the Environment committee of the European Parliament, leading the file, adopted its report and included provisions in line with what GEIR had been advocating for more than a year now. The committee adopted amendments introducing a minimum regeneration target of 85% of the generated waste oils by 2025, and foreseeing the possibility for Member States to achieve it through the shipment of waste oils to re-refining facilities located in neighboring Member States. This is a very encouraging development for GEIR.
In the Council, discussions are still ongoing and GEIR remains active to ensure that waste oils targets are maintained on the table. A number of Member States have already expressed their support. Negotiations with the Parliament are expected to start in May, once Member States have agreed on their position. It is unlikely that the file will be adopted under the Maltese Presidency of the Council, ending on 30 June.
GEIR will keep advocating towards the inclusion of waste oils regeneration targets in the revised directive and monitor closely legislative developments.
Moreover, the European Commission published in January a Communication on Waste-to-Energy. The document gives an EU definition of what encompasses waste-to-energy, providing an extensive list of the processes concerned. According to the Commission, recovery of energy from waste should be firmly guided by the waste hierarchy, while contributing to the achievement of the EU Energy Union Strategy and the Paris Agreements objectives in terms of decarbonization efforts. The communication aims at clarifying the position of different waste-to-energy processes in the waste hierarchy, and at providing guidance to Member States in order to avoid overcapacity in waste incineration when using economic instruments promoting these processes. GEIR will follow and report further developments.