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EU waste review proposal

On 2 July 2014, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal and annex to review recycling and other waste-related targets in the EU Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC, the Landfill Directive 1999//31/EC and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC.

The aim of the proposal is to help turn Europe into a circular economy, boost recycling, secure access to raw materials and create jobs and economic growth. It does so by setting ambitious targets and adding key provisions on the instruments to achieve and to monitor them. The proposal is presented as part of the circular economy package.

Water Pollution with Trash Disposal of Waste at the Garbage Beach
Water Pollution with Trash Disposal of Waste at the Garbage Beach
Source: epSos.de [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The main elements of the proposal include:

  • Recycling and preparing for re-use of municipal waste to be increased to 70 % by 2030;
  • Recycling and preparing for re-use of packaging waste to be increased to 80 % by 2030, with material-specific targets set to gradually increase between 2020 and 2030 (to reach 90 % for paper by 2025 and 60% for plastics, 80% for wood, 90% of ferrous metal, aluminium and glass by the end of 2030);
  • Phasing out landfilling by 2025 for recyclable (including plastics, paper, metals, glass and bio-waste) waste in non hazardous waste landfills – corresponding to a maximum landfilling rate of 25%;
  • Measures aimed at reducing food waste generation by 30 % by 2025;
  • Introducing an early warning system to anticipate and avoid possible compliance difficulties in Member States;
  • Promoting the dissemination of best practices in all Member States, such as better use of economic instruments (e.g. landfill/incineration taxes, pay-as-you-throw schemes, incentives for municipalities) and improved separate collection;
  • Improving traceability of hazardous waste;
  • Increasing the cost-effectiveness of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes by defining minimum conditions for their operation;
  • Simplifying reporting obligations and alleviating burdens faced by SMEs;
  • Improving the reliability of key statistics through harmonised and streamlined calculation of targets;
  • Improving the overall coherence of waste legislation by aligning definitions and removing obsolete legal requirements.

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