The European Parliament has blocked a controversial proposal on end-of-waste criteria for recovered paper.
The proposal, which was put forward by the European Commission, would move the point where paper stops being considered waste from the paper mill output to an earlier stage in the collection.
The measure met with opposition by the European Environment Committee, which objected to the draft regulation in November and said the Commission had not properly assessed the impact.
The committee put forward a resolution to block the proposal, and on 10 December the European Parliament voted in favour of this by 606 votes to 77, with 10 abstentions.
MEPs noted that if recovered paper was granted the proposed end-of-waste status before it was recycled it could be traded freely on global markets and the safeguards of the Waste Shipment Regulation would no longer apply.
It could also lead to a decrease in the European paper recycling rate due to reduced availability of waste paper.
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) welcomed the Parliament’s decision.
Teresa Presas, director general at CEPI, said: “We are glad to see the European Parliament remembered that the original purpose of defining when something is no longer to be considered a waste was to facilitate recycling not to obstruct it.”