MEPs vote to boost recycling, cut landfill targets and curb food waste.

EU Landfill TargetsOn March 14th 2017, MEPs at the European Parliament approved the Simona Bonafè MEP led EU Environment Committee report.

In a clear signal to both the Commission and the Council, the European Parliament has confirmed the increased ambition of the Environment Committee on four legislative proposals on waste, deciding to restore the ambitious recycling and landfill targets in line with what the Commission had originally proposed in 2014 and confirming their proposals from January this year

The share of waste to be recycled should be raised to 70% by 2030, from 44% today, while landfill targets, which have a big environmental impact, should be limited to 5%, said Environment Committee MEPs on Tuesday, as they amended the draft EU “waste package” legislation. They also advocate a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030.

Statistics from 2014 suggest that 44% of all municipal waste in the EU is recycled or composted. This compares to just 31% in 2004, and by 2020 EU member states should be recycling or composting over 50% of waste.

Commenting Simona Bonafè MEP said,  “The ENVI committee has showed that it believes in the transition towards a circular economy. “There will no longer be the possibility for Member States with the lowest recycling rates to have a ‘blanket’ derogation. They will be able to request a derogation, but it will be subject to specific conditions”

Waste and packaging waste By 2030, at least 70% by weight of so-called municipal waste (from households and businesses) should be recycled or prepared for re-use, (i.e. checked, cleaned or repaired), say MEPs. The European Commission proposed 65%.

For packaging materials, such as paper and cardboard, plastics, glass, metal and wood, MEPs propose an 80% target for 2030, with interim 2025 targets for each material.

Landfill Targets The draft law limits the share of municipal waste to be landfilled to 10% by 2030. MEPs propose tightening this to 5%, albeit with a possible five-year extension, under certain conditions, for member states which landfilled more than 65% of their municipal waste in 2013. EU countries such as Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Latvia, Malta and Romania still landfill more than three quarters of their municipal waste.

Food waste Food waste in the EU is estimated at some 89 million tonnes, or 180 kg per capita per year. MEPs advocate an EU food waste reduction target of 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, compared to 2014. They also propose a similar target for marine litter.

Some background numbers In 2014, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden sent virtually no municipal waste to landfill, whereas Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Latvia and Malta still landfill more than three quarters of their municipal waste.

Although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, almost a third of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between member states.

Improving waste management could deliver benefits for the environment, climate, human health and the economy. As part of a shift in EU policy towards a circular economy, the European Commission made four legislative proposals introducing new waste-management targets regarding reuse, recycling and landfilling.

The proposals also strengthen EU provisions on waste prevention and extended producer responsibility, and streamline definitions, reporting obligations and calculation methods for targets.

Source: European Parliament News

Posted in: Environment, News

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The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive of 2005 (re-cast in 2012) is an example of how environmental legislation can drive the management of waste in a more sustainable direction.


Even with the WEEE Directive in full force, we still only manage to collect and treat about 35% of the 10 million Tonnes of waste electronics generated in the EU every year.


The Paris COP21 signed by 197 countries this year (so far ratified by 103 countries) is an example of environmental policies that can only be agreed if the global community are on board, especially the larger and more affluent countries. The COP21 is the first such agreement that the USA has ever signed up to.


Electronic Recycling are actively involved in collecting and managing WEEE in Ireland, committed to being part of the solution of the EU target to collect and treat 65% of all electronic equipment placed on the market.