EBA’s meeting with the European Commission on Circular Economy

EBA met with commission officials in DG Environment in October to explain the value of anaerobic digestion to treat organic waste.

EBA met with DG Environment to discuss two key points. The first is to ensure that European institutions clearly classify anaerobic digestion as a recycling process, whereby methane and valuable fertiliser are being produced. The second, to ask that manure destined for the use in biogas plants shall not be subject to the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), in the same way as raw manure is being spread on fields without such constraints.

High-level officials in DG Environment working on waste management were supportive of the biogas sector. Moreover, they assured EBA that any member state that does not recognise anaerobic digestion as a recycling technique is not applying EU law correctly and the European Commission would want to know about it. On the issue of removing manure from the scope of the WFD, the DG Environment officials said that, while they may revise the recycling targets in the future, they did not intend to change the scope of the directive. However, the officials hinted that member states may make use of the exceptions in the directive which are available for SMEs to digest manure without falling under the WFD.

EBA will closely follow the Circular Economy dossier in its next phase as it goes to the European Parliament and the Council, who have the power to make amendments.

You have comments or questions on Circular Economy? EBA members may contact Susanna and Nicolas. You are also invited to read EBA’s position on the Circular Economy Package.