The Waste Framework Directive legislation sets requirements to protect human health and the environment by preventing or reducing hazardous and non-hazardous waste which is crucial for the transition to a circular economy. It lays down the basic concept and definition of waste, recycling, and recovery. The Directive explains when waste becomes a secondary raw material and how to identify the difference between waste and by-products. By-products can come from business sectors and can have very different environmental impacts.
Any substance or object which the holder discards, needs to be managed without risk to air, water, soil, animals, or plants. It is also required not to harm the environment, endanger human health, and causes a nuisance through scent or noise.
The five-step waste hierarchy is established in the WFD. It clarifies an order of preference for managing and disposing of waste. Preventing waste is the best option, and letting waste end up in landfill should actually not be an option.
Prevention, measures are taken before a substance, material or product has become waste, which reduces the quantity of waste. Preparing for re-use means checking, cleaning, or repairing recovery operations, by which items or components of products that have become waste are prepared so that they can be re-used without any other pre-processing. Recycling is any recovery process by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials, or substances whether for the original or other purposes. By recovery, any operation is the principal result of which is waste serving a useful purpose by replacing other materials which would otherwise have been used to fulfill a particular function, or waste being prepared to fulfill that function, in the plant or in the broader economy. By disposal, any procedure which is not recovered even where the operation has as a secondary consequence the reclamation of substances or energy.
Despite the existing regulations, waste has increased over the last decade. Society needs to be conscious of the environmental impact to choose good quality and not garbage. Lower quality recycles as well as low recycling rates are in part due to lacking valuable insight into the product lifecycles.
By using the COTIT 360° technology, companies can experience the benefits of increased transparency, efficiency, and sustainability, all while complying with the legislation.
Let’s encourage each other to go for the options that deliver the best overall environmental outcome.