Plenary vote on Circular Economy proposal: Reality of construction SMEs not taken into account

Today the European Parliament’s Plenary adopted the four reports of MEP Simona Bonafé concerning waste management, the so-called Circular Economy Package. The report is now ready for the trilogue negotiations between the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament.

The European Builders Confederation EBC, representing the voice of millions of small and medium-sized construction companies in Europe,  is disappointed with the result of the vote in plenary. The construction sector produces 30% of the EU’s waste, so our entrepreneurs are convinced about the need to contribute to the creation of a new circular economy model. However, this transition has to be feasible if we want it to happen for real and not just on paper.

The European Union has to provide small companies with the proper means to make a success out of this new legislative framework.

Construction and demolition targets

The urge for additional targets on construction and demolition waste for 2025 and 2030 set by the proposal for the Waste Framework Directive will put SMEs’ competitiveness at risk due to the lack of accompanying measures and feasibility.

Legislation must allow time for our entrepreneurs to adapt and has to be based on a clear and consistent assessment of the current situation. SMEs also need to have access to the best available techniques to make reuse and recycling waste a reality.

We equally regret the decision to exclude our proposal that technical, economic and environmental conditions have to be taken into account for the promotion of sorting systems for construction and demolition waste.

Temporary platforms for waste

EBC supports a progressive ban on landfills as long as suitable alternatives are accessible and companies are not obliged to drive too far to access them. We are therefore disappointed that the Parliament did not take up our suggestion to previously ensure the creation of temporary and mobile platforms for waste. These platforms would collect small quantities of construction and demolition waste in construction sites, which have very little space in the case of the small renovation projects carried out by our SMEs. The platforms should constitute a homogenous network, so companies can easily access them. This would be an effective tool to make sorting the waste that will end up in recycling and recovery sites much easier.