EU Waste Framework Directive (WFD) and Commercial/Industrial Waste

Question: Are professional/industrial supplies (not intended for household use) in scope for Directive (EU) 2018/851, the amended Waste Framework Directive?

Answer: It's important to understand that North American and EU markets perceive or define municipal waste differently. The common North American perception is that municipal waste is general household waste, the type of waste created at home. Municipal waste in the EU, however, is a much broader concept In fact, a recent European Commission study expanded the general definition of municipal waste. For more details, see Annex I of the Municipal Waste Guidance:   https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/342366/351811/Municipal+Waste+guidance/bd38a449-7d30-44b6-a39f-8a20a9e67af2.

Within this context, the only types of waste excluded from the definition of "municipal waste" are:

  1. Waste from municipal sewage networks and treatment
  2. Municipal construction or demolition waste

All other waste falls within the definition of "municipal waste." This broad definition is further detailed in Annex II of the Guidance (linked above), which lists specific codes for many different types of waste (e.g. glass, paper, electronics) and waste processing streams.

Municipal waste is also defined in item 10 of the introduction to EU Directive 2018/851 (the WFD amendment). This definition specifically includes waste from households and other sources, including retail, education, health services, and many others.

These definitions strongly suggest that professional products are in scope of the new Directive (EU) 2018/851, and should comply with it. The directive calls for a declaration to the new ECHA database when an SVHC is identified in any product placed on the market in the EEA.

Article content current as of 2018-12-12.

References: https://www.eea.europa.eu/policy-documents/directive-eu-2018-851-of

https://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/framework/

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