CEPI and BIR comment on Italian law affecting waste exports

23 Apr 2012 − 

The new Italian regulations on the export of waste are being debated across Europe. The European trade associations CEPI and BIR have responded.

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) as well as the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) have both commented on the Italian simplification decree-law 5/2012 which also affects waste exports. CEPI said it supported the new regulations while BIR shows concern about them.

According to the Italian law dated 4 April 2012, each international waste shipment must now be accompanied by a certificate issued by the authorities in the destination country confirming that the environmental standards applicable in that country are comparable to those prescribed in the EU. Furthermore, the certificate must guarantee that the recovery operation in the destination country will be equivalent in environmental protection terms to those operations laid down in the country of origin’s legislation.

CEPI noted that a level playing field was a pre-condition to global trade and a free market. “This is why we support requiring broadly equal environmental standards from our competitors in Asia," said Jori Ringman-Beck, CEPI Director for Recycling, Products and Environment. “This is also the reason why CEPI supports the recent Italian waste law amendment enforcing good global environmental standards in recycling”, he added.

BIR predicts that the new regulations will seriously affect shipments of recyclables from Italy and fears devastating effects for Italian operators. The association approached the European Commission and the Italian Environment Minister arguing that the legislation would jeopardise the supply of steelworks, non-ferrous metals smelters, foundries and paper mills around the globe.

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