MEPs Vote To Restore Original Circular Economy Package Recycling Targets

European Parliament has voted to restore the recycling targets for member states set out in the original incarnation of the Circular Economy Package tabled in 2014.

The votes means by 2030, at least 70% by weight of so-called municipal waste (from households and businesses) should be recycled or prepared for reuse, (ie, checked, cleaned or repaired), say MEPs.

The European Commission proposed a target of 65% after a second version of the Circular Economy Package, originally tabled in 2014, dropped this from 70%.

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.

Lead MEP, Simona Bonafè – “Today, Parliament by a very large majority 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.”

According to 2014 figures, the current combined rate of EU member states is 44%.

Lead MEP, Simona Bonafè, (S&D, IT), said: “Today, Parliament by a very large majority 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.

“Demand for raw materials by the world economy could increase by a further 50% in the next 15 years. In order to reverse this trend, we must adopt a circular development model which keeps materials and their value in circulation, the only solution able to keep together sustainability with economic growth” she said.

“Re-use, recycling and recovery are becoming the key words around which a new paradigm needs to be built to promote sustainability, innovation and competitiveness, so that waste will cease to be a problem and become a resource” she added.”

The draft law also limits the share of municipal waste to be landfilled to 10% by 2030. MEPs propose reducing 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.

MEPs also 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.

Parliament will now negotiate with Council of Ministers, which has yet to adopt a position.

An Important Sginal

Chief Executive od the Resource Association, Ray Georgeson, commented on the news: “The Resource Association warmly welcomes the ambition shown by the European Parliament in approving the package of measures outlined in the Bonafè report and we applaud Simona Bonafè MEP and her team for the diligence with which they have tackled this important dossier.”

“The European Parliament has sent an important signal of intent about the level of ambition needed in Europe to deliver the resource-efficient, employment-rich circular economy that we aspire to.”

Chief Executive od the Resource Association, Ray Georgeson – “The European Parliament has sent an important signal of intent about the level of ambition needed in Europe to deliver the resource-efficient, employment-rich circular economy that we aspire to.”

“The headline figures on recycling rates are less important than the trajectory and degree of ambition. While debate remains unresolved on the harmonisation of the point of calculation of recycling rates, the headline figure is the wrong point upon which to assess the importance of the European Parliament’s proposals.

“We maintain the view that recycling should be calculated at the point where materials go for final recycling and concur with Simona Bonafè on this important issue.

“If the European Commission and Council ultimately find they cannot cope with the logic of this position, they at the very least should do the decent thing and reframe the description of their headline recycling targets as what they actually are – collection targets, not recycling targets. This is a level of transparency and integrity we would welcome.”

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