In order to stimulate recycling markets, it is important to cut the red tape for high-quality waste-derived materials so that they enjoy the same internal market freedoms as primary raw materials. For this, one needs to establish the point in the recovery process at which those quality materials can lose their waste status, via a set of rules called end-of-waste criteria. The drawing up of end-of-waste criteria consists of thorough techno-economic-environmental assessments that verify material safety and the existence of a market for candidate waste materials.
The JRC has been working since many years on developing techno-scientific proposals for end-of-waste criteria. These proposals take the form of scientific reports, which are the basis for the policy documents elaborated by the Commission.
More recently, stakeholders and policymakers have been calling for renewed action. Following an in-depth scoping study to identify further possible material streams for which to develop end-of-waste criteria, JRC has started developing new scientific proposals for end-of-waste criteria for plastics and plans to do the same for textiles in 2023. For this, JRC is working in close collaboration with Commission departments Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV) and Directorate-General for Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW).