As part of the ongoing consultation process on the revision of the EU Waste Framework Directive, Ecommerce Europe calls on an ambitious revision of EU rules.
The revision of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) will give an opportunity to align the rules on future pieces of legislation that will be proposed later this year, such as the Sustainable Product Initiative, the Waste Shipment Directive, the revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), but also other sector-specific initiatives. The EU should also seize this opportunity to create strong foundations for the future of the European Circular Economy.
We encourage the European Commission to reflect on how to best promote waste prevention and reuse above recycling as part of the Waste Framework Directive. The growth of e-commerce represents a unique opportunity to rethink how to give a second life to secondary (raw) materials and goods, extending the reach of second-use markets, enabling the development of reuse, repair, upcycling, or DIY markets. The e-commerce sector has a key role to play in connecting businesses and consumers to find an outlet for second-hand products or materials. It offers the opportunity to ensure access to a large number and variety of spare parts but also contributes to the growth of intermediary businesses proposing repaired and refurbished products, which are in fast-growing demand in the tech and parts sectors. In a recent survey conducted among small business sellers in Europe, sellers reported that second-hand and refurbished items represented 52 percent of their sales, a figure that was highest, at 57 percent, for sellers that sold goods in the electronics category. Over half of the sellers, 53 percent, responded that second-hand and used goods are important to their business.
We, therefore, call on policymakers to consider the following priorities in their work on the EU Waste Framework:
- Ensure the alignment of the Waste Framework Directive with the waste hierarchy and upcoming pieces of legislation on sustainable products (as well as sector-specific initiatives) and the promotion of repair and reuse;
- Create a real single market for waste intended for reuse, repair and recycling with the harmonisation of legislation and definition in the EU;
- Harmonise waste and EPR legislation to allow companies to operate cross-border and boost compliance;
- Re-think the way we communicate and raise awareness about the question of handling of products and waste.
If you would like to learn more about our position on the EU Waste Framework, please consult our reply to the call for evidence.
If you would like to learn more about our position on Extended Producer Responsibility, you can read our position paper.