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Communication on the competitiveness of the recycling industry

A communication aimed at addressing some of the major problems facing the European recycling industry has recently been adopted by the European Commission. This aims to address constraints in the development of the recycling industry through imperfect markets and structural we...
A communication aimed at addressing some of the major problems facing the European recycling industry has recently been adopted by the European Commission. This aims to address constraints in the development of the recycling industry through imperfect markets and structural weaknesses, and to ensure that recycling, an important component of waste management, is promoted in an environmentally sound manner.

The Commission proposes actions in four main areas:

- Improving the position of secondary raw materials through standardisation, by methods such as harmonising specifications and testing methods, examining product design and suitability for eventual recycling, and screening product standards;

- Enhancing market transparency and development by creating exchanges for recyclable waste and secondary raw materials and increasing awareness;

- Stimulating innovation in the recycling industry through the Fifth RTD Framework Programme, with particular respect to SMEs and by applying complementary policies for quality and support;

- Examining existing regulations, in particular, the simplification, harmonisation and implementation of waste legislation, and assessing the feasibility of new legislation aimed at stimulating recycling.

In addition, a recycling forum will be established, made up of representatives from industry, public authorities and environmental and consumer organisations. This will assess the key factors in competitiveness and identify the most appropriate mix of actions to be taken. They will report to the Commission within twelve months, which will then inform the Council and Parliament of appropriate follow-up actions.
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