ESPO calls for firmer polluter pays principle

The Waste Reception Facilities Directive aims to better protect the marine environment and decrease the administrative burden for stakeholders Photo: IMO The Waste Reception Facilities Directive aims to better protect the marine environment and decrease the administrative burden for stakeholders Photo: IMO

ESPO has welcomed the latest review of of the Waste Reception Facilities Directive but says it needs a firmer ‘polluter pays’ principle.

The proposals of the Parliament’s rapporteur are aiming to better protect the marine environment and decrease the administrative burden for stakeholders. ESPO said the proposed new definition of catering waste will increase quantities of plastic being recycled.

“We strongly believe however that the ‘polluter pays’ principle needs to be better reflected in the new Directive,” said Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO’s Secretary General.

“We cannot accept a regime whereby ships are not incentivised to limit waste at the source and ports have to carry the costs of delivering unreasonable amounts.”

Polluter pays

Ms Ryckbost said that European ports believe that the ‘polluter pays’ principle, which has been the cornerstone of the EU’s environmental policy, needs to be strengthened. This includes introducing a fee system whereby ships would deliver unreasonable quantities of garbage, including dangerous waste for a fixed fee.

The Commission has been preparing an EU submission to the IMO proposing a 100% indirect fee without quantity thresholds at international level.

Ms Ryckbost also said that ESPO opposes an automatic rebate for “green” ships. Any green rebate, if not corresponding to a real cost reduction, will have to be borne by the port authority. Not all port managing bodies have the financial ability to cover this cost and to give such rebates.

She added that any mandatory green rebates for waste, as proposed by the Commission proposal, would prevent ports from addressing local environmental challenges. In some areas, waste pollution is a great environmental concern while in others it is air quality and emissions. Furthermore, mandatory rebates disregard the existence of different business and governance models in ports across Europe.

European Parliament Rapporteur Ms Gesine Meissner will put forward the draft report of the Transport Committee on the review of the Waste Reception Facilities Directive (Com (2018) 33) on 10 July.

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