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Monday, September 25, 2023European Commission

Urban waste water treatment: Cosmetics Europe expresses concern following the vote on the ENVI Committee report

Traitement des eaux urbaines : Cosmetics Europe s'inquiète après le vote du rapport de la Commission ENVI

Following the vote on 20 September 2023 by the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) on the draft revision of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, Cosmetics Europe has issued a press release expressing its concerns.

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At the end of 2023, as part of the implementation of the Green Pact for Europe, the European Commission presented its draft revision of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.
Key elements include the obligation to recover nutrients from wastewater, new standards for micropollutants and new requirements for microplastics, as well as the application of the polluter pays principle to the cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors through a new extended producer responsibility scheme.
On 20 September, the Commission adopted its report on this project and largely endorsed it, raising concerns among Cosmetics Europe, the European cosmetics industry association.

Cosmetics Europe’s arguments

In its press release, it sets out a number of points:
• The Commission’s draft text places the financial burden of water treatment solely on the pharmaceutical and cosmetics sectors, even though the impact study did not provide any scientific evidence as to why the cosmetics sector was chosen to pay this price
• Any financial contribution should be based on the principle of fair sharing between all polluters and, rather than adopting a sector-by-sector approach, it would be better to define a list of micropollutants that would make it possible to identify the companies from which they originate
• The …

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