Circular Economy proposals: an important start to begin capturing the value of European metals

December 02, 2015 — 

Brussels - Eurometaux welcomes today’s Circular Economy package, which provides comprehensive measures to improve the circular management of Europe’s materials. To build on the Commission’s efforts, we now call on MEPs and Member States to introduce stronger commitments in crucial areas, with harmonised implementation across Europe.

Guy Thiran, Eurometaux’s Director General, reacted: “By addressing the full materials lifecycle, today’s Circular Economy package takes an important step towards securing the value of EU resources. Too many of Europe’s metals are still landfilled, incinerated, or exported without guarantee of proper treatment. Several of the Commission’s proposals will help make sure those metals are recycled, safely and efficiently”.

A circular economy is essential to capitalising on Europe’s urban mine, where valuable metals can be recycled from cars, buildings, packaging, e-waste & other applications. As well as creating economic value for Europe, metals recycling saves up to 95% of the energy needed to manufacture new metals from primary sources.

Despite those benefits, €4.3 billion of base metals scrap leaves Europe annually without guarantee of quality treatment, and two-thirds of e-waste is not properly treated within the EU.

Guy Thiran continued: “Provided they are firmly implemented, several Commission proposals will help quality recyclers get access to Europe’s metals. In particular, we support requirements to collect waste streams separately; to increase the recyclability of products; and to properly define “final recycling”. The Commission has also made an important commitment to reduce landfill of municipal waste, and provided ambitious recycling targets for packaging”.

“Looking ahead, stronger commitments should still be introduced in key areas, and rules need to be implemented the same way across EU Member States. In that respect, today’s proposal can be boosted further through mandatory certification for recyclers of certain waste streams, stronger measures to combat illegal waste shipments, and a reduced burden when trading waste within Europe”.

The European metals industry is now fully committed to a constructive dialogue with MEPs and Member States, in order to build on the Commission’s proposal and ensure its actions can be implemented swiftly and concretely.

About Eurometaux

Eurometaux, the European non-ferrous metals association, represents the enterprises and organisations that make up the broad non-ferrous metals supply chain – from mining and refining to processing, fabrication and recycling. Europe’s non-ferrous metals industry has an annual turnover of €120bn, and creates 500,000 direct jobs and over 3 million indirect jobs in Europe.

For more information please contact:
Chris Heron, Manager, Communication and Sustainability – - Tel: +32 (0) 2775 63 21 Mob: +32 (0) 493 18 89 63

The Nickel Institute is the organization representing the world's leading and emerging producers of nickel. For more about the Nickel Institute