Waste policy and sustainable use of natural resources
The EU waste policy aims at tackling the reduction of waste production in the Member States, which represents one of the most problematic environmental problems. To this end the European Union has approved a waste strategy as well as a series of directives dealing with different waste streams (i.e. packaging, batteries, electric and electronic equipment). Moreover, the 6th Environment Action Plan foresees a Thematic Strategy on the Prevention and Recycling of waste. SMEs are directly impacted upon by the community activities, since they operate in all sectors, both as manufacturers and service providers, contributing to waste production in the European Union. In this framework, UEAPME’s believes that:
- i. the current definition of waste should be reviewed and uniformly applied throughout the Member States;
- ii. recycling should be given priority on other waste disposal methods only when it is really more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective;
- iii. reuse and recycling targets should be fixed in a realistic way taking account of the situation in the majority of the Member States.
08/04/2008: Revision of Waste Framework Directive 75/442/EEC, 2st reading: UEAPME indications of vote on the draft recommendation for second reading Caroline Jackson and tabled amendments proposed by MEPs (Vote in the ENVI Committee on 8th April 2008)
Sustainable use of natural resources
The EU action in the area of sustainable use of natural resources aims at installing new production and consumption patterns in order to reduce the current pressure on the resources of the planet, particularly the non renewable ones, and preserve them for the future generations. This action, which is part of the sustainable development strategy, will rely on a specific Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources foreseen by the 6th Environment Action Plan. SMEs will be one of the main targets of this strategy, due to the fact that they have a direct impact on natural resources as manufacturers, as well as service providers and users. In this framework, UEAPME is convinced that:
- (i) a whole series of preliminary awareness-raising measures followed by transitional periods and financial and technical assistance strategies need to be carried out to achieve changes in the way SMEs manufacture their products and provide their services today;
- (ii) the EU strategy aimed at reducing the current impact on natural resources should go along with efforts to maintain the competitiveness and the innovation potential of European businesses.