2022 started with positive policy developments for the regeneration industry. In February, the European Commission published the roadmap on the revision of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), which will include measures to promote waste oils regeneration at EU level. GEIR welcomes the policy direction envisaged by the Commission in the roadmap, as it recognises the need to increase the amounts of waste oils regenerated – including though targets – and stresses the fact that waste oils used as fuel contribute more to climate change and resource depletion. GEIR also provided feedback on the roadmap highlighting the importance of restricting the use of waste oils suitable for regeneration in energy recovery and urging Commission to prioritize a better enforcement of the current legislation with regards to the collection of waste oils.
Meanwhile, the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published the preliminary results of the study on waste oils treatment, which will inform the Commission on the feasibility and need to promote further waste oil regeneration at EU level as part of the revision of the WFD. While the final study is not finalised, the first results are encouraging for our industry, as they show that all re-refining options are preferable to energy recovery in terms of climate change impact since they result in the largest savings per tonne of waste oil managed. Considering these results, the JRC underlines the need to increase the share of waste oils that is regenerated. GEIR will continue to engage with the JRC to ensure the best possible outcome of the study, which is expected to be finalised in the coming months.
In addition, the negotiations on the revision of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Regulation have made significant progress over the last months. In the European Parliament, a provisional agreement on reducing the limit of POPs in waste has been reached. With negotiations led by Martin Hojsík, the compromise amendments are more than the Commission’s original proposal. A vote in the environment committee is expected on 31 March. In parallel, the European Council (Member States) has widely endorsed the Commission’s proposal, although it pushes for countries to be granted more time to implement the proposed POPs limits. Negotiations between the Council and Parliament will start soon with a view to reach a final agreement before the summer.