The EU commission has published a consultation on the new initiative ‘circular economy’ which the NFU welcomes views on. It looks to reduce waste production across the whole length of the production chain, not just looking to recycle and reuse waste already produced.
What is circular economy?
Previously waste management has primarily looked at ways to reuse and recycle waste which has already been produced and would otherwise go to landfill. This initiative is trying to look at how to reduce waste production along the whole ‘value chain’ from raw material production to final use, the main stages of the chain are:
- Production and transportation of raw materials;
- Processing and packaging;
- Reuse schemes;
- Waste management and recycling.
The consultation is looking at barriers to circular economy. For example uncertainty caused by the lack of written contractual agreements between retailers and growers within the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) and Production programmes leading to over production, late orders or collections later than previously agreed.
With an increase in the volumes and types of waste being recovered, it is anticipated more will be used as biofertilisers to be spread to land- for example compost and anaerobic digester plant digestate. The NFU believes it is essential that the quality of biofertiliser does not decrease because of this initiative and welcomes responses on the necessity to retain this quality.
It is important that at this early stage we publicise the implications of this work, please provide any responses by Monday 13th August. The full briefing note provides further examples of how circular impact will impact on members. Please send any comments to Martin Rogers at bWFydGluLnJvZ2Vyc0BuZnUub3JnLnVr. The full consultation can be seen on the Commission’s website.