Mixed waste sorting not circular economy “silver bullet” – FEAD

mixed waste sorting

The European Waste Management Association FEAD has criticised Reloop and Zero Waste Europe’s (ZWE) recent study which says that mixed waste sorting (MWS) is key to the EU’s (European Union) Circular Economy Objectives, calling it a “dangerous message”.

In response to the study, FEAD says it believes there are more cost-efficient alternative measures than MWS. It continues that there are currently ongoing investments being made by the industry that should be prioritised and MWS systems are not a “silver bullet” solution to achieving circular economy objectives.

Instead, the Association is calling for source separation to be improved and increased, calling it the most efficient and effective way to ensure quality recycling.

FEAD says the study undermines “years of awareness raising and investments” made by the sector to implement and ensure the functionality of source separation of municipal waste by citizens.

FEAD considers the holistic approach to policies in the waste sector to be of paramount importance.

Consequently, the Association contends that separately collected waste won’t be incinerated or landfilled. FEAD says exceptions to separate collection are possible in specific circumstances and only then should a prior MWS system should play a role.

Claudia Mensi, FEAD President, commented: “FEAD considers the holistic approach to policies in the waste sector to be of paramount importance. The diversity within the EU and within the Member States and the related environmental impact, that such proposals could have, are often overlooked.

“The installation of mixed municipal waste sorting systems prior to incineration or disposal may be a solution only in specific local circumstances where source separation cannot be implemented with the necessary standards. For the rest, our citizens’ participation via source separation will always be preferable.”

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