Most European citizens think their own country is generating too much waste, according to a EU public opinion poll published this week. Ninety five per cent of Britons said it is important to them that the UK uses its resources more efficiently, compared to an EU average of 80 per cent.
The main elements of the EU waste, landfill and packaging revisions include:
- recycling and preparing for re-use of municipal waste increased to 70 per cent by 2030;
- recycling and preparing for re-use of packaging waste increased to 80 per cent by 2030, with material-specific targets that will gradually increase between 2020 and 2030 to reach 90 per cent for paper and cardboard by the end of 2025 and 60 per cent for plastics, 80 per cent for wood,90 per cent of ferrous metal, aluminium and glassby the end of 2030;
- ban on landfilling recyclable waste (including plastics, paper, metals, glass and biodegradable waste) by 2025, and give a mandate to the Commission to consider further phasing out of landfilling of recoverable waste by 2030,
The review to strengthen waste targets in existing EU directives forms part of a package of measures to promote a transition to a more circular economy, the alternative to the traditional linear economy of make, use and dispose with resources kept in use for as long as possible.
The approach is set out in a Communication which explains how new growth and job opportunities will emerge from a more efficient use of resources. Greater efficiency will be driven by innovative design, better performing and more durable products and production processes, forward-looking business models and technical advances to turn waste into a resource.
The legislative proposals will now pass to the Council and the European Parliament for discussions involving EU government ministers and MEPs.