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Parliamentary questions
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2 September 2021
Question for written answer  E-004040/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Jan Huitema (Renew)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Review of end-of-waste criteria and the possibility of setting new European end-of-waste criteria: what will be done with wastewater and sewage sludge?

In its European ‘Circular Economy Action Plan’, Parliament asked the Commission to submit a list of waste streams that should be prioritised when revising the European end-of-waste criteria and potentially developing new such criteria. Many valuable raw materials can be recovered from wastewater and sewage sludge. Besides recovered water and fertiliser products, nitrogen and sulphur components, phosphorus salts, biopolymers, bioplastics, fibres, proteins and algae can also be recovered from wastewater and sewage sludge. Many initiatives have already been taken to recover secondary raw materials from these two waste streams. However, these materials are not popular on the market due to their status as waste in accordance with Directive 2008/98/EC (Waste Framework Directive). Without the development of EU end-of-waste criteria, the market for secondary materials will not be able to grow and the necessary incentives to roll out a business case or to develop new technologies to better treat wastewater and to separate materials will be lacking.

1. Does the Commission intend to prioritise the development of EU end-of-waste criteria for materials that can be recovered from sewage treatment plants?

2. The Commission indicated in its EU Circular Economy Action Plan 2.0 that it intended to bolster the internal market for high-quality secondary raw materials. What plans has the Commission drawn up to achieve this goal?

Original language of question: NL
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