5 July 2023
WindEurope’s position paper on cement co-processing as a sustainable solution for recycling end-of-life composite materials
The wind sector could generate about 15,000 tonnes of blade waste in Europe each year in the period 2020-2023. By 2030 this could amount to 60,000 tonnes a year. In the same year close to 67 GW of wind energy installed capacity could reach the end of its designed lifetime of 20 years. Cement co-processing offers a sustainable and circular solution to this issue. Recycling end-of-life glass fibre reinforced composite materials can immediately be deployed at large scale. But we need a strong supporting regulatory framework to overcome the barriers.
We therefore call on European policymakers to:
- Recognise co-processing as a Recycling Process according to the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC for its raw material recyclability.
- Develop an EU-wide harmonised model for a separate waste collection scheme for end-of-life composite materials to simplify waste management, improve efficiency of resource flows, and ensure better access to secondary materials for the cement industry.
- Establish dedicated waste codes for end-of-life composite materials. This is an essential pre-requirement to improve visibility of and access to the relevant waste streams (including volumes and location) and attract investments. A position paper dedicated to this topic is currently under preparation.
- Phase out the landfilling of end-of-life composite materials from the wind energy and boating sectors and promote the development of sustainable recycling alternatives for all composite materials
Read the joint statement