Review of the European Legislative and Policy Framework Affecting the Recycling of Hazardous Plastics from ELV, WEEE and C&DW

Malin zu Castell-Rudenhausen, Anna Tenhunen-Lunkka, Mathilde Taveau, Nazarena Vincenti, Tatu Marttila, Margareta Wahlström

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Increasing recycling rates and well-functioning markets for secondary raw materials are crucial for the implementation of a circular economy, which is also highlighted in the EU's Circular economy policies, such as European Green Deal, Circular Economy Action Plan, Zero Pollution Action Plan and Plastic Strategy. When aiming to promote recycling, it is important to understand the policy and legislative framework steering the operational environment. The legislative framework as well as other policy drivers were depicted through a literature review and screening of legislative documents and standards across the circular economy value chain for plastic waste containing hazardous substances from WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment), C&DW (Construction and Demolition Waste) and ELV (End-of-Life Vehicles) streams, creating a good overview of the driving forces framing the operational environment. The study shows that the key waste management directives frame the operational environment of waste collection and treatment, while the product and chemicals legislation can further restrict the recycling of hazardous or potentially hazardous substances. The waste directives stipulate waste collection and treatment practices. By using standardised technologies and methods, recyclers can comply with a certain quality of product. A steady supply and a harmonized quality throughout the plastic recycling industry will contribute to a well-functioning market for secondary plastics. Finally, it can be concluded that the objectives set in the directives are posing some challenges for the coordination of the different objectives on waste, product, and chemicals legislation. While the legislative framework on waste aims at increasing recycling, the legislative frameworks on chemicals and products aims at preventing the use and circulation of harmful and potentially harmful substances.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages117
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-8759-9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesVTT Technology


  • recycling
  • plastics
  • legislation
  • policies
  • WEEE
  • C&DW
  • ELV


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