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AD sector warns against regulation changes in CE package

The anaerobic digestion (AD) industry has warned against “unnecessary” changes to regulation in its response to the European Commission’s public consultation on the revised circular economy (CE) proposals.

As reported by MRW, input from the 12-week consultation until 20 August will feed into preparation for the CE package, expected to be released this autumn.

Now the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has said it expects AD to take a leading role in any resource-efficient policy outcomes from the package.

Charlotte Morton ADBA

ADBA chief executive Charlotte Morton said: “AD recycles nutrients such as phosphorus, which is acknowledged in the consultation document as a critical raw material: it is finite and essential for plant growth.

“While we warmly welcome this recognition for one of AD’s vital non-energy benefits, it is important that a developing digestate market is not disrupted by unnecessary changes to regulation, such as European-wide end-of-waste criteria, while the UK’s existing PAS110 standard is still becoming established.

“An ambitious CE package will cultivate a thriving domestic and international market in recycled material, such as digestate, helping to establish new markets for biochemicals and bioplastics, and cement the UK’s position as one of Europe’s leaders on food waste AD facilities and technology.”

ADBA also suggested that a policy to increase the collection of materials for AD should be a priority.

Morton said: “Not only would food waste collections increase recycling rates, but treating the UK’s inedible food waste through AD would produce over 9TWh of green gas per year – enough to heat half of the homes in London.

“To keep moving in the right direction, the revitalised CE package will need to recognise the huge potential for green job creation, resource security, environmental protection and economic growth.”

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) was among those who responded to the launch.

Its Europe policy adviser Roy Hathaway said: “The [response] questionnaire certainly covers the key elements likely to feature in that package – production, consumption, the markets for secondary raw materials, key industry sectors, and circular economy enablers such as innovation and investment – but it gives very little indication of what measures the Commission itself is likely to favour.”

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