EU says other sectors should face scrap take-back
BRUSSELS - A controversial European Union environmental law forcing carmakers to take back scrap vehicles at the end of their lives could be extended to other sectors, the European Commission said on Thursday.
The scrap car directive, agreed by EU governments last year, was one of the most vehemently opposed pieces of EU regulation. Industry said it would cost billions of euros to implement and the issue deeply divided Germanys Red/Green coalition.
EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom said on Thursday such "cradle to grave" responsibility should be a key part of a new EU strategy to encourage manufacturers to design products with minimum waste and environmental impact.
"We hope that other sectors will follow and see that it is also profitable to look at this in a life-cycle way," Wallstrom told a news conference.
The electrical and electronic equipment sector is already facing similar legislation.
Wallstroms strategic paper on "integrated product policy" (IPP) confirmed the policy would be extended to other sectors.
She declined to say which sectors the Commission would target next, but an EU official told Reuters laws on packaging could be revised to include more producer responsibility for consumer waste.
Lawmakers are keen on such policies because industry has to foot the bill to deal with waste which might otherwise end up in municipal dumps or incinerators, and manufacturers have an incentive to make their products easy to recycle.
The paper also looks at other ways of encouraging greener products, for example, making them cheaper through lower value added tax and by promoting "eco-label" schemes.
The Commission will produce a more detailed policy document in the autumn.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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