The EU is set to transit from linear to circular economy: turning waste into a resource in order to increase resource efficiency and close the loop in a circular economy. This article centres on the Waste Framework Directive and most importantly its newest proposal, the main EU legislation to regulate waste. It argues that there is not sufficient guidance given to the regulatory limits of the definition of waste, especially in the context of the so-called subcategory of ``waste v. non-waste'' where ``waste'' was utilised as a fuel. While prevention is a breaking point in the waste hierarchy (as reuse, recycle, recovery and finally disposal are assumed to be waste unless cease to be waste), it seems unfortunate that it is not translated into a well-defined classification of waste and non-waste (i.e. product). It is not clear how prevention operates in the context of the WFD, as before a substance or object becomes waste, it was a product. Therefore, the paper calls to the rethink of categorisation of waste and product in the context of prevention placing further emphasis on the environment and human health as its main condition simultaneously embracing circular economy thinking. The European Commission should provide a European standard for waste derived fuels, which is essential for a proper functioning of European market. Furthermore, the paper also discusses that the WFD (and its newest proposal) fails to properly address technological advancements designed to transfer ``waste'' to a valued resource without posing any threat to the environment, which could be upgraded to the prevention systems. Against this background, the patented micro-scale Home Energy Recovery Unit, designed to process all unwanted domestic materials to generate energy for the household is used as a case study in this article.
European Energy and Environmental Law Review