The five raw materials that are insufficiently recycled are wood, plastic, biowaste, aggregates from construction waste and textile waste. According to the analysis of the European Environmental Protection Agency (EEA), the main problems in the secondary raw materials market are their small size compared to the basic materials that dominate the primary market, and their weak demand, as well as the lack of standardization of these secondary raw materials, which ultimately reduces quality of recycled materials for industrial use.
In addition, some materials face special challenges, such as the competing demand for energy use, which is present in the case of wood recycling. Improving the market for recycled raw materials is one of the key measures for achieving a circular economy within the EU countries, and should originally lead to a reduction in the need to exploit natural resources and avoid related impacts on the environment, which can significantly affect the worsening of climate change. The report outlines several options for overcoming market barriers to recycled materials, including incentives to design products that are more recyclable, strengthening recycling targets, increasing the recycled content of new products, establishing technical standards for recycled materials and using taxes to equalize price competition with primary raw materials. The conclusion is that of the eight main materials, only aluminium, paper and glass perform well in terms of recycling, and recycled materials have a significant market share compared to primary materials, according to the EEA report.
Translated by: Andrea Božić