When you throw something away it becomes waste. More specifically, the EU Waste Framework Directive or WFD defines waste as ‘any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard’. Any substance or object is either waste or non-waste.
When a company wants to do something with this waste such as sorting, incinerating, composting, etc, specific waste regulations apply to protect people and the environment. However, currently, economies are transforming into a more circular system. This means that we try to generate less waste by re-using products and instead of incineration, waste is re-cycled into new products.
For recyclers, it is highly important to know exactly when they deal with waste and when not. For example, they need to establish whether their ‘raw materials’ are waste within the meaning of the WFD or possibly remain substances, mixtures or articles within the meaning of REACH.
To stimulate the re-use of waste into new raw materials, the EU frameworks regarding waste and substances make it possible for waste to cease being waste. When a recycled product receives the status of end-of-waste, users of this product no longer have to comply to waste regulations. These end-of-waste rules have recently been amended by the revision of the main European waste directives in 2018 and must be implemented before 5 July 2020 by member states.
To judge if and when something ceases to be waste, End-of-waste criteria are currently being developed for product groups. In general, a given waste may only cease to be a waste if:
The substance or object is commonly used for specific purposes;
- A market or demand exists for such a substance or object;
- The substance or object fulfils the technical requirements for the specific purposes and meets the existing legislation and standards applicable to products;
- The use of the substance or object will not lead to overall adverse environmental or human health impacts.
Ecomatters Provided Support in End-of-waste
- Ecomaters can assist you assessing the regulatory status of your product. Among other we can identify where in the production chain the recovered material no longer classifies as waste and substance or article related regulations start to apply.
- When you want to apply for a legal ruling by the Ministry of Infrastructure as to whether or not a material is waste or has reached end-of-waste status, Ecomatters can assist in meeting the necessary data requirements and take part in discussions with local or national authorities.
- In order to enter the market with a recovered substance or material it has to comply with chemical or product regulations such as REACH, or food contact materials. Ecomatters can help you at every step to assure full legislative compliance.