The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a briefing, which finds there is significant potential to increase municipal, construction and electronic waste recycling across Europe. Compared to the amounts currently recycled, the briefing suggests recycling of municipal and electronic waste could be doubled, while construction and demolition waste may be increased by 30%.
The briefing contains several key messages:
- The most important barrier to increasing recycling in these waste streams is the low market price of natural resources/raw materials.
- Another significant barrier is the mixed and complex composition of some waste products, making the recovery and reuse of materials challenging.
- Regulations requiring more frequent and higher quality separate collections, extended producer responsibility schemes and selective demolition practices can develop the potential to further increasing recycling. Such initiatives should be coupled with measures to improve the economics of recycling, remove hazardous substances from products and apply design-for-recycling concepts.
The briefing summarises the key findings of a technical report commissioned by the EEA and published in March 2020.
Source: EEA, 23 June 2020