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Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU


  • Pierre Hennebert - Conseil Développement Environnement, France

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For a well-functioning circular economy, recycled materials with a specific purpose, that have a market, and meet the legal requirements for both products and the environment should have an end-of-waste (EoW) status. However, at the EU level, EoW has only been established for certain metals and cullet glass, and implementation at the national level has slowed down. One potential solution is tacit EoW, supported by articles 6(1) and 6(4) of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), which place responsibility on economy operators with possible oversight by authorities. This discussion paper examines the status of various waste streams in the EU and illustrates that tacit EoW is already widely used in regulation and waste management practices. This includes: - Reuse of waste as a product after preparation (level 2 of the waste hierarchy); - Recycling of materials (level 3 of the waste hierarchy) to produce new products; - Recycling in environmental applications, such as fertilisers, soil conditioners, and growing substrates, as well as backfilling operations; - Energy production from various biomass and wood waste categories. Granting tacit EoW status consistent with level 3 of the waste hierarchy to other materials processed by certified industrial facilities would benefit the circular economy. A first group consists of materials recycled into products that do not come into contact with the environment, which could benefit from immediate tacit EoW, since the four EoW conditions are met. Ten wastes of this group are ranked for priority EoW by the Joint Research Center of the EU.


Editorial History

  • Received: 26 Apr 2024
  • Accepted: 03 May 2024
  • Available online: 14 Jun 2024


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