PMD recycling for businesses almost a reality
Flanders leads the way in the field of recycling and waste product reuse, but this mindset will now be given a legal foundation when the materials decree is approved in the Flemish Parliament today. According to the decree, waste is considered to be “secondary materials” which re-enter the cycle via recycling. The burning or dumping of waste is seen as a last resort. According to the decree, which is implementing the European directive, companies are allowed to recycle their “secondary raw materials” in other countries. This does however leave a gap for misuse and the loss of potentially valuable raw materials, and could rob Flemish environmental companies of business opportunities. To address this issue, the majority parties have enforced an amendment of the draft decree, which will see the prohibition of the export of unsorted waste to other countries. In addition, Members of Parliament have negotiated an amendment which will give them a bigger say in the implementation of Environmental Minister Joke Schauvliege’s CD&V policy. One such example in which MP's are involved is the PMD plastics, metal packaging and beverage cartons waste collection trial among businesses. MPs Valerie Taeldeman CD&V, Bart Martens SP.A and Tine Eerlingen N-VA have asked the government on the basis of this trial project to come up with suggestions to impose PMD collection among businesses. “If you can sort your waste at home, it can be done at work as well,” they argue, adding that waste prevention should be the first priority. To ensure the effective recycling of materials, they should ideally be sorted at the source rather than at a processing plant, from a cost and efficiency point of view. Parliament further plans to focus on the recovery of energy during waste incineration. The Ghent University hospital primarily runs on energy generated by the incinerators of waste processing company Ivago. Finally the majority parties also request that the responsibility of waste producers should be better examined.