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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 6 June 2013

Environment: Your views can help make Europe become a recycling society

The European Commission wants to know whether you think the recycling targets in EU waste legislation need reviewing, and how. The results of the consultation will be used to help develop potential new legislation to prevent waste and boost re-use and recycling, as part of a wider review of waste policies in 2014. Citizens, businesses, NGOs, public authorities and other interested parties are welcome to contribute their views until mid-September 2013.

Existing EU waste legislation sets clear targets for re-use and recycling of waste and for reducing landfill. By 2020, for example, 50 % of municipal/household waste and 70 % of construction and demolition waste should be recycled or re-used. Such targets have already driven major improvements, with several Member States demonstrating what can be done rapidly, at little cost and creating many jobs. But rising prices of raw materials have added an important economic imperative to improving waste management to the environmental one. Recent policy documents such as the Resource Efficiency Roadmap and the proposal for a 7th Environmental Action Programme have explained the economic and environmental benefits of developing a resource efficient and circular economy, and this would require:

  • further prevention of waste,

  • raising recycling and reuse to their maximum feasible levels,

  • limiting incineration to non-recyclable materials, and

  • phasing out landfilling progressively by 2020.

The Commission is examining whether, and how, EU waste targets should be adapted to reach these objectives, and the consultation will gather views on the desirability of reinforcing the existing targets or introducing new ones. The possibilities include waste prevention targets and differentiated targets for different waste streams, materials and products. Respondents are also asked whether stricter re-use and recycling targets and landfill reduction or diversion targets should be created, and if they should be adapted to the particular situation of each Member State. The implementation of current targets, the improvement of waste statistics and monitoring effectiveness of the measures implemented in Member States are also addressed.

Next Steps

Building on the results of the public consultation, the Commission will identify the key options for developing the targets. The potential added value and the economic, social, and environmental impacts of these options will then be analysed. A legislative proposal may then be developed in 2014, in the context of the waste policy review. In addition to targets, the review will also look into possible overlaps in existing legislation and into the potential for simplifying legislation to improve clarity and consistency.

Background

The review of several waste management targets in 2014 is foreseen in the waste legislation itself, namely the Waste Framework Directive, the Landfill Directive (progressive reduction of biodegradable waste going into landfills) and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. The Waste Framework Directive also calls on the Commission to envisage, “if appropriate”, the setting of waste prevention and decoupling objectives for 2020 by 2014. The review of EU Waste Policy and Legislation to be completed in 2014 includes two further components in addition to the consultation: a fitness check of five waste stream directives and the Green Paper on plastic waste.

See also:

Additional information is available from the consultation web site:

www.wastetargetsreview.eu

The online consultation is available from the following web link:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/waste_targets_en.htm

Web page on the review of the waste policy and legislation:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/target_review.htm

Web page on waste:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/index.htm

Scoreboard:

- on waste management: IP/12/888

- per country analysis achieved by EEA http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/managing-municipal-solid-waste

Recommendations of the Commission to the less advanced Member States:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/framework/support_implementation.htm

Use of economic instruments:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/use.htm

Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)


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