Posted on 08/06/2009 in category Convention

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday,4 June 2009

BIR WorldRecycling Convention

25-27 May2009, Dubai

PressReleases on Commodity Sessions



InternationalEnvironment Council:

UAE’sMinister of Environment officially visits BIR Convention

A centrepiece of the IECmeeting inDubai was a presentation from His Excellency Dr Rashid Ahmad BinFahad, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister of Environment and Water.Describing recycling as “a pillar” of the region’s approach toachieving integrated waste management, he said the staging of a BIRConvention in Dubai represents “an important step towardsencouraging the institutions of the private sector to pay thisindustry the attention it deserves”.

The Emirates’ recyclingindustry is“still in its early stages”, the minister acknowledged, but hasexpanded to cover an ever-growing number of material and productstreams, including paper, plastics, used car tyres, mobile phones andbuilding materials “that constitute the most part of waste productsin the country”.

The EU’s regulation on theRegistration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACh) “willnot be the burden we were expecting a year ago”, attendees wereassured by IEC Chairman, Olivier François of Galloometal in Belgium.

The objective of REAChis to make persons placing materials on the market responsible forunderstanding and managing the risks associated with their use. Atthe BIR’s 2008 Autumn Convention in Düsseldorf,members had been urged to play safe by pre-registering theirsubstances ahead of a December 1 deadline - and many had duly takenthis advice.

Since then, BIR hasattempted toconvince officials at the European Commission that recyclers are notproducing new materials but rather “mechanical transformers” ofexisting materials; according to Mr François, the feedback has beenthat “we are going in the right direction” with this argument. Atthe same time, the European Council of Ministers supported a generalreduction in the administrative burden on the recycling industrygiven that it has suffered a severe market slowdown.

Mr François also informedIECdelegates that the European Commission is moving ahead quickly withthe process designed to lead to “end-of-waste” criteria for anumber of mainstream recyclables. The outcome, he reminded delegates,will have potentially massive consequences for world trade in thesesecondary raw materials. And IEC’s Chairman also confirmed to hisaudience in Dubai that Imperial College in London will shortlypublish its study underlining the recycling industry’s huge role inreducing carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.

The United NationsEnvironmentProgramme has begun its public/private Partnership for Action onComputing Equipment (PACE), the aim of which is to developenvironmentally sound management (ESM) criteria for used andend-of-life computers and computing equipment. BIR’s Environmental& Technical Director Ross Bartley reminded delegates that inputinto this initiative would be welcomed both from companies andassociations. Definitive ESM guidelines are expected to emergeperhaps three years from now, he added.

Guest speaker Don Smale,Secretary-General of the Portugal-based International Copper StudyGroup (ICSG), pointed out that secondary copper is leaving countries“with a long history of previous economic growth with a fallingshare of industrial activity”. Much of this volume is going insteadto China, leaving nations such as Germany, Belgium, Italy and Austriato “struggle to get the resource”.

ICSG is to conduct furtherresearch onthe environmental benefits of copper recycling, including energyefficiency gains when compared to primary copper use. “Secondarycopper has a very positive story to tell here,” said Mr Smale.

 

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