Deal signed on international waste trading

6th April 2016

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Waste ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Recycling


Mark Bingham

The UK has signed a deal with the Netherlands, France and the Flanders region in Belgium to extract raw materials from waste.

Residual materials are difficult to trade internationally because of the different ways countries view them. Kitchen and garden waste, for example, can be composted and used as fertiliser but some countries simply consider it to be refuse. The Green Deal for a North Sea Resources Roundabout (NSSR) aims to remove these obstacles.

‘I want to give companies leading the way in sustainability more scope to innovate in order to make our economy greener,’ said Dutch environment minister Sharon Dijksma. ‘And that’s exactly what this deal does. By redefining raw materials and working with our neighbours, it will be easier for businesses to innovate and operate in this area. That’s good for the environment and will also boost trade between countries in the North Sea region.’

Measures to strengthen the circular economy are high on the agenda of the six-month Dutch EU presidency. The NSSR will also make it easier to trade in raw materials left over from waste incineration, such as bottom ash, and recover tiny pieces of aluminium, lead, zinc, silver and gold.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has drafted the first regulation under its circular economy package. The proposal is to simplify the process of bringing organic and waste-based fertilisers to the EU single market.

‘Few of the abundant biowaste resources are transformed into valuable fertilising products,’ said commission vice-president Jyrki Katainen. ‘Our farmers are using fertilisers manufactured from imported resources or from energy-intensive processes, although our industry could valorise these biowastes in recycled nutrients. This regulation will help us turn problems into opportunities.’


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