CEMBUREAU, the European Cement Association, welcomes the Inception Impact Assessment and the opportunity to provide feedback to the Waste Shipment rules revision.
The European cement industry is a large user of waste and by-products utilizing approximately 35 million tonnes per year. In the EU, the sector substitutes on average 46% of its fossil fuel consumption with secondary raw materials such as non-recyclable waste or biomass waste. Our industry has high ambitions to increase this number in the coming years, and several cement plants across Europe already run on 90-100% alternative fuel share. In addition to providing sound solutions for the waste streams and strengthening the circular economy, this use of alternative fuels is also key for the cement industry to reduce its CO2 emissions and support our vision for a carbon neutral Europe for 2050.
When waste is introduced into the cement kiln to produce clinker (the intermediate product of cement), its organic component provides heat inside the kiln whereas the mineral, non-combustible elements are recycled and become part of the clinker, thanks to what is called “co-processing”. Co-processing is therefore an absolutely sustainable ecological solution for the treatment of waste, as it uses waste both as a way to provide energy and as secondary raw material. The potential of co-processing should be enhanced further through legislative and regulatory measures that recognise this form of material recycling and its contribution towards EU recycling targets.