New law extends the list of waste subject to EPR – find out how it affects you

On 31 March, the Spanish Parliament approved the new waste law, which will increase the waste flows subject to extended producer responsibility (EPR) in Spain. Law 7/2022 on Waste and Contaminated Soil for the Circular Economy entered into force after its publication on 8 April.

New national legislation, which reviewed the framework regulation on EPR in line with EU regulations, aims to ensure that producers of textiles, furniture and home fixtures, as well as plastics for agricultural use, among others, take financial or financial and organisational responsibility for managing their waste.

The deadline for implementing and approving these new royal decrees is April 2025. The law also opens the door to include EPR regulations for single-serve coffee capsules.

For waste flows already subject to EPR (such as WEEE and batteries), the new legislation specifies 5 January 2023 as the deadline for their adaptation. Therefore, the royal decrees on these two waste flows are expected to be amended soon.

The law also makes it compulsory for e-commerce platforms to have producer status when companies established outside of Spain sell products subject to EPR on their platforms.

Selective collection also has a prominent place in the Law: from July 2022, collection of domestic bio-waste in towns and cities with over 5000 inhabitants (and from January 2024 for the rest) will be compulsory. For textile waste, used cooking oils, household hazardous waste and bulky waste, separate collection must be implemented starting in 2025.

The law handles the problem of waste from a comprehensive perspective, and includes among others:

  • new and ambitious targets for preparation for reuse, recycling and recovery
  • new green taxes for landfill and single-use plastic packaging, and
  • new violations for littering and the unauthorized burning of agricultural waste

The new law will drive the transition towards the circular economy in Spain during the upcoming decade.

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