The UK's Waste Management Companies' Association, whole-heartedly invited proposals from European environment ministers to reduce the price of recyclable materials. However, the Environmental Services Association (ESA) demanded that more be done to permanently increase the demand for recyclable products. The Irish government raised the issue for the first time on 4th December 2008 at the EU Environment Council by enquiring as to whether the EU offers any relief to help the industry during the recession.
In Brussels, the Czech EU Presidency presented a paper on the fall in demand for recycled materials. All of Europe's environment ministers were presented with the paper which explains how the economic recession caused a decline in the demand for recyclable materials in 2008 and came up with 13 suggestions to deal with the situation.
Following are some of the important measures suggested by the paper:
- New targets of recycling should be set with a detailed analysis
- Improve public trust in recycling
- Focus on waste prevention and minimisation
- Reduce administrative burdens on recycling
- The European Commission should accelerate work on end-of-waste criteria.
- Improve the quality of recycled materials by improving collection and sorting methods
- The Commission must accelerate the developments to include recyclability criteria in future implementation measures.
- Financial incentives must be given to improve collection, sorting and encouraging citizens to separate waste - e.g. high taxes on disposal, reducing corporate taxes for companies using recycled materials.
- VAT reduction for products made from recycled materials.
- Encourage green public procurement among people by implementing strategies like ETAP, GPP Communication
- Encourage Private procurement to act more quickly. National governments must cooperate with the retail sector in selling recyclable products.
However, responding to this, Dirk Hazell, the Chief Executive of ESA, said, "We welcome the measures suggested by the paper. But, it is much too timid on green public procurement. The UK Government too must provide a stimulus to investment in new a British recycling infrastructure to replace landfill". Mobile broadband prices to hike shortly