EP ENVI Committee : boost recycling, cut landfilling and curb food waste

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EU Parlament Foto: fill / Pixabay)

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

Statistics from 2014 suggest that 44 percent of all municipal waste in the EU is recycled or composted. This compares to just 31 percent in 2004, and by 2020 EU member states should be recycling or composting over 50 percent of waste. “The ENVI committee has showed that it believes in the transition towards a circular economy. We decided to restore the ambitious recycling and landfill targets in line with what the Commission had originally proposed in 2014“, said lead MEP Simona Bonafè. “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”, she added.

By 2030, at least 70 percent 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 percent. For packaging materials, such as paper and cardboard, plastics, glass, metal and wood, MEPs propose an 80 percent target for 2030, with interim 2025 targets for each material.

The draft law limits the share of municipal waste to be landfilled to 10 percent by 2030. MEPs propose tightening this to 5 percent, albeit with a possible five-year extension, under certain conditions, for member states which landfilled more than 65 percent 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 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 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030, compared to 2014. They also propose a similar target for marine litter.

The four proposals in the package will be put to a vote by the full House at the 13-16 March plenary session in Strasbourg.

Source: European Parliament