CED EU Info 2015/04


Issue 4 - December 2015

 

Circular economy: proposal could lead to more red tape for dentists

EU politicians are asking society to move to a circular economy. This means moving to a model that eliminates waste by design. One industry’s waste is another industry’s raw material. In nature there is no waste and everything is reused. Man is the only species in nature that produces and discards waste instead of reusing it.


To aid this transition, the Commission has put forward several legislative proposals and an action plan which sets out a specific mandate for this Commission’s term of office. The so-called “Circular Economy Package”, adopted on 2 December 2015, intends to address the whole cycle of products. This includes production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials. It touches several policy areas: waste, packaging and packaging waste, landfill waste and electronic waste.

The CED is planning to contribute to this legislative process via its Working Group on Infection Control & Waste Management. Chaired by Prof. Dr. John Tzoutzas, the Working Group intends to monitor the impact of these legislative proposals, in particular the amendments to the Waste Directive, and to provide guidance to individual dentists on better waste management.

Dental practices already recover special materials, but more can be done, notes the Working Group. Every dental office can recycle the same products as citizens (e.g. non-contaminated paper, plastic and glass). At the November General Meeting, Prof. Dr. Tzoutzas called on national dental associations and chambers to raise awareness among their members to increase recycling of these common products.

This proposal may lead to more red tape for dentists. They may have to change the way they deal with waste, in particular how they report hazardous waste. For example, Article 35 of the proposal to amend the Waste Directive establishes an electronic registry to record hazardous waste data, for the entire territory of Member States. This reporting can be extended for other types of waste. This issue will be further examined in the coming months by the Working Group.

For more information about the Circular Economy see http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm


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