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New waste law



Law 7/2022, of April 8, on waste and contaminated soils for a circular economy. VER BOE



Technotex products are a real alternative to one-size-fits-all medical devices and are a key factor for healthcare institutions in their implementation of waste prevention and reduction measures, due to their reusability, durability, origin and the circular economy they enable.








INTRODUCTION:


Single-use products, due to their multiple functions, are very present in our economy and our daily lives. This explains why their consumption has grown exponentially in recent years, with arguments in favor of their consumption such as food safety, improved logistics and distribution systems, fuel savings or the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transport of this material.


The reality is that these advantages and arguments turn into disadvantages that cause serious problems when we analyze their effect on the environment. From the loss of resources when the products are destined for landfill, to the impact derived from their slow degradation, with their basic elements remaining in the environment, fragmented in the long term into micro- or even nano-sized particles. This persistence in the environment, together with the presence of some toxic elements in the composition of the products, is associated with environmental problems that result in economic, social, health and biological problems.


THE LAW:


With the aim of transforming the European Union into a "recycling society" and contribute to the fight against climate change, advance in the circular economy, harmonize, improve information and traceability of waste, the European Commission approved in 2015, the Action Plan on circular economy (COM (2015) 614 final), and in 2018 the Directive (EU) 2018/851 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018, amending Directive 2008/98/EC on waste is approved.



Thus, on April 8, 2022, the Spanish law implementing this Directive was published, which aims to establish the principles of the circular economy, as well as to contribute to the fight against climate change and to protect the marine environment. This law thus contributes to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals, included in the 2030 Agenda.



OBJETIVS


1- Waste reduction: The first objective is to minimize the negative effects of waste generation and management on human health and the environment. Likewise, and in line with the principles governing the circular economy, this policy must also aim to make efficient use of resources, with a firm strategic commitment from all public administrations, as well as the involvement and commitment of all economic and social agents.


Given the importance attributed to the prevention of waste generation, the Directive included a specific instrument: "waste prevention programs", which must establish prevention measures and objectives. Specifically, Title II of the law contains the provisions relating to waste prevention and establishes specific objectives and measures to break the link between economic growth and the impacts on human health and the environment associated with waste generation.


In drawing up these prevention programs (evaluable at least every six years), the competent public administrations shall describe the baseline situation, the existing prevention measures and targets and their contribution to waste prevention. The evaluation shall include an analysis of the effectiveness of the measures taken and their results shall be made publicly available. For this purpose, appropriate qualitative or quantitative indicators and targets shall be used, particularly with regard to the quantity of waste generated.


The wording of the law proposes a series of examples as measures for the prevention of waste contemplated in Article 14, of which we highlight the first one:


"Measures aimed at the substitution of single-use products when alternative reusable products are available."




2- Employment: The waste policy contributes to the creation of employment in certain sectors, such as those linked to preparation for reuse and recycling, so that the law also contributes to the creation and consolidation of employment in the waste management sector.



3- Traceability: On the other hand, in order to improve traceability and increase transparency in waste management, Title VI is dedicated to information on waste: Annual reports are regulated, which must contain the contents of the chronological file, which is mandatory for registered entities or companies and must include information on waste production and management operations. In this way, the traceability of waste from its production to its final treatment is facilitated.


COMPLIANCE:


In terms of compliance, we highlight the following considerations:


1. The competent authorities shall establish economic, financial and fiscal measures to promote the prevention of waste generation, reuse and repair, implement separate collection, improve waste management, promote and strengthen the markets for products from the preparation for reuse and recycling, as well as for the waste sector to contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. For these purposes, a tax applicable to the deposit of waste in landfills, incineration and co-incineration of waste is established in Title VII of this law.


2. Public administrations shall include, within the framework of public procurement contracts, the use of products of high durability, reusable, repairable or easily recyclable materials, as well as products manufactured with materials from waste, or by-products, whose quality complies with the required technical specifications. In this sense, the purchase of products with the European Union Ecolabel according to Regulation (EC) No. 66/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the EU Ecolabel will be encouraged. This paragraph shall be without prejudice to the provisions of Law 9/2017 of 8 November on Public Sector Contracts, transposing into Spanish law the Directives of the European Parliament and of the Council 2014/23/EU and 2014/24/EU of 26 February 2014.


On the other hand, Chapter II of Title VII establishes the regulation of a tax on the deposit of waste in landfills, incineration and co-incineration of waste. The use of this economic instrument will be a key mechanism for making progress in the circular economy and in achieving the objectives of preparing for reuse and recycling of waste; It provides a disincentive for single-use options, in accordance with the waste hierarchy principle (1- waste prevention, 2- preparing for reuse, 3- recycling, 4- other types of recovery including energy recovery and finally, 4- waste disposal), favoring the diversion of waste towards more environmentally favorable options, which can contribute to reintroducing the materials contained in waste into the economy, such as reuse, for example.


It is configured as a state tax applicable throughout the Spanish territory and is transferred to the autonomous communities.


TECHNOTEX COMMITMENT


  • Continue to design products and product components in a way that throughout their life cycle reduces their environmental impact and the generation of waste, both in their manufacture and in their subsequent use, and in a way that ensures that the recovery and disposal of products that have become waste

  • Develop, produce, label, market and distribute products and product components suitable for multiple uses, containing recycled materials, which are technically durable, upgradeable and easily repairable and which, after having become waste, are suitable to be prepared for reuse and to be recycled, in order to facilitate the correct application of the waste hierarchy, taking into account the impact of the products throughout their life cycle, the waste hierarchy and, where appropriate, the potential for multiple recycling, provided that the functionality of the product is guaranteed.

  • Accepting the return of reusable products, the delivery of waste generated after use of the product and taking over the subsequent waste management. To take full or partial responsibility for the organization of waste management.

  • Provide information to the preparation for reuse facilities on repair and scrapping and to the other treatment facilities for the correct management of waste, as well as easily accessible information to the public on product characteristics relating to durability, reusability, repairability, recyclability and recycled material content.

  • Use materials from waste in the manufacture of products.

  • Provide information on the introduction into the market of products that become waste with use and on the management of waste, as well as carry out economic analyses or audits. These economic studies must be independent and contrasted, and must be available to the competent authorities.

  • Increase the warranty periods for both new and repaired products.

  • Fulfill the necessary conditions to guarantee the consumer's right to repair.

  • Provide information on the characteristics of the product that will make it possible to evaluate possible practices of premature obsolescence.

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