European Parliament approved the package to update current waste management rules, including new targets for recycling, packaging and landfilling. The package is a key element of the Circular Economy Action Plan the European Commission adopted on 2 December 2015.
This agreement generally preserves the ambition level of the Commission’s initial proposal and reconciles long-term targets with realities on the ground. The new ambitious recycling and landfilling targets will boost the re-use of valuable material in waste and improve the way municipal and packaging waste is managed thus making the circular economy a reality. It further strengthens the “waste hierarchy” by placing prevention, re-use and recycling clearly above landfilling and incineration.
The details of the new waste rules:
Recycling targets for municipal waste:
|By 2025||By 2030||By 2035|
Stricter rules for calculating recycling rates will help to better monitor real progress towards the circular economy.
New recycling targets for different waste streams:
|By 2025||By 2030|
|Paper and cardboard||75%||85%|
In addition to the separate collection which already exists for paper and cardboard, glass, metals and plastic, new provisions for separate collection, including of bio-waste will boost the quality of secondary raw materials and their uptake. Hazardous household waste will have to be collected separately by 2022, bio-waste by 2023 and textiles by 2025.
Phasing out landfilling
Landfilling of waste makes no sense in a circular economy and can pollute water, soil and air. By 2035 the amount of municipal waste landfilled must be reduced to 10% or less of the total amount of municipal waste generated.
The new legislation foresees more use of effective economic instruments and other measures in support of the waste hierarchy. Producers are given an important role in this transition through extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes – meaning a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle. The new extended producer responsibility requirements will lead to better performance and governance of these schemes. A mandatory extended producer responsibility scheme has to be established for all packaging by 2025.
The new legislation will place a particular focus on waste prevention and introduce important objectives such as reducing by 50% food waste in the EU and halting marine litter with the aim to achieve the UN sustainable development goals in these areas.
Background and next steps
As part of its Circular Economy Action Plan the European Commission adopted on 2 December 2015 a package of legislative proposals on waste.
Following the vote by the Plenary of the European Parliament, the package will be submitted to the Council for final adoption. It will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal.
Source: EC News