Foodmakers welcome MEPs amendment on by-products

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union

The adoption by MEPs this week of amendments to the European Waste Framework Directive has been welcomed by the Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries in the EU (CIAA).

The CIAA, the body representing European food and drink manufacturers, particularly supports the EU parliament's adopted definition on by-products. The amendment adopted by the MEPs draws a line between waste and by-products and defines when waste has been recovered enough - through recycling or other treatment - to cease being waste. "The CIAA fully supports Article 4, which provides a clarification of the distinction between by-products and waste, making it good news for resource efficiency in the food manufacturing sector,"​ Sabine Hennsler, CIAA communications manager told FoodProductionDaily.com The European food and drink industry is a major producer of a variety of by-products that are used in a wide range of other sectors, such as animal feed, fertilisers, cosmetics, pharmaceutics and bio-fuels. "The current lack of legal certainty for by-products and inconsistent interpretations of the definition of waste by member states hampers the efficient use of natural resources in industry, when economically useful products are wrongly classified as waste,"​ said Henssler. Controls sought​ However, the amendments have drawn criticism from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB). Nathalie Cliquot of the EEB told FoodProductionDaily.com that "allowing potentially hazardous materials to escape waste controls - and even to be exported to the developing world - through the new by-products definition is a serious error; the Commission must ensure strict controls are in place."​Cliquot also said the EEB was extremely disappointed the MEPs agreed that the incineration of waste could be reclassified as 'recovery' rather than 'disposal', and that the date for the setting of an EU-wide waste prevention target has been postponed from 2012 to 2014. New recycling targets​The new directive, which some deputies claim is not tough enough, will replace three existing directives: the existing Waste Framework Directive, the Hazardous Waste Directive, and the Waste Oils Directive. The agreement sets out mandatory recycling targets to be met by 2020: 50 per cent for paper, metal, plastic, and glass from household waste and 70 per cent for construction and demolition waste. Member states have five years after entry into force of the directive in which to establish waste management plans and waste prevention objectives. A final vote to make the Directive law is expected in the next two weeks before the end of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU. Waste​ According to the Commission, the 1.8bn tonnes of waste generated each year in Europe works out at 3.5 tonnes per person. In 2005, 49 per cent of EU municipal waste was disposed of through landfill, 18 per cent was incinerated and 27 per cent recycled or composted, claims the Commission.

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