[Ferro-Alloys.com] The European Steel Association has greeted the release of the Circular Economy Action plan. The sector believes the Action Plan is an important step in developing a truly circular economy in Europe. However, it is missing incentives to keep valuable steel scrap within the EU, which undermines circularity and the EU’s climate objectives. Axel Eggert said “As producers of an essential, 100% recyclable and permanent material, steelmakers are eager to see circularity put at the heart of the EU’s policy focus. However, beyond the first principles of the circular economy there are more in-depth considerations that must be addressed which this Commission Communication, in part, does”.
He said “Having a sustainable products policy initiative in which the Eco-Design Directive is extended in scope to help circularity and the assessment of product sustainability is a good thing, for instance. It is also important to have robust tools for substantiating environmental claims on products – supporting consumers and buyers in making truly sustainable choices”.
He added “EUROFER also fully supports the development of an EU market for secondary raw materials. We need EU-wide criteria for the granting of ‘by-product’ or ‘end-of-waste’ status to certain industrial streams generated during the production processes. More widely, when a secondary raw material – generated either as waste or as a by-product is fit for certain applications and can be safely used – its access to the market should be improved, regardless of its legal status.”
Another concern addressed in the Action Plan is about the leakage of waste to export markets. The carbon embedded in scrap means that using it as a raw material can help reduce emissions from steel production.
While welcoming the Action Plan, EUROFER nevertheless urges caution on some elements. Not all materials are the same and a one-size-fits-all policy will not suit all. The path towards greater circularity must be built upon scientific, evidence-based principles. Otherwise, the intentions of the Communication may not improve circularity. （steelguru）
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