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Environment
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Implementation of the Waste Framework Directive

Proper implementation, application and enforcement of EU waste law are one of the key priorities of EU environmental policy.

Overview

EU countries must report to the European Commission on the implementation of the EU waste laws, including on the achievement of targets for waste collection, re-use, recycling and recovery every year or every two years. This data can be found on Eurostat.

Implementation

2018 implementation report

In 2018, the European Commission published the latest implementation reports. The report gives an overview of progress and implementation challenges for several waste streams, including municipal waste, construction and demolition waste, hazardous waste, waste electrical and electronic equipment and packaging waste. It suggests areas for improvement for each of them.

The European Commission also published early warning reports for Member States at risk of missing the 2020 target of 50% preparation for re-use / recycling for municipal waste.

Bulgaria Croatia
Cyprus Estonia
Finland Greece
Hungary Latvia
Malta Poland
Portugal Romania
Slovakia Spain

The amended Waste Framework Directive, Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and Landfill Directive have removed the obligation for implementation reports and require the European Commission, supported by the EEA, to publish early warning reports three years ahead of the recycling and landfilling target years. The next reports are due in 2022 for the targets on recycling of municipal waste and packaging waste with a 2025 deadline.

A more general overview of environmental law and policy can be found on the environmental implementation review. The latest one is from 2019.


For more information

Implementation reports are also published for specific waste streams. For this information, please visit the “Implementation” section on the following pages.

Batteries and accumulators Construction and demolition waste
End-of-life vehicles Landfill waste
Mining waste Packaging waste
RoHS Sewage sludge
Ship recycling Waste shipments
WEEE  

European List of Waste

The European List of Waste provides common terminology for classifying waste across the EU. This helps manage waste, including hazardous waste. Codes are assigned in a broad variety of activities, including the transport of waste, installation permits (which often refer also to specific waste codes), or as a basis for waste statistics.

The European List of Waste is regularly revised. The latest amendment was made in 2014, following a review study.

A guidance document on the classification of waste helps national authorities, local authorities, and businesses (e.g. for permitting issues) to correctly interpret and apply EU law on the classification of waste.

It provides

  • a comprehensive overview of relevant EU law
  • examples of waste types for which classification is considered difficult by stakeholders
  • step-by-step information on how to assess whether waste displays hazardous properties and on how to classify it

Support to implementation

Municipal Waste Compliance Promotion Exercise

Phase One

The aim of this exercise was for the Commission to provide support and guidance to Member States. It focused on waste policy objectives and the requirement for separate collection under the Waste Framework Directive. The Commission organised workshops, and published factsheets and roadmaps for ten European countries. The factsheets provide a summary of the current situation, and the roadmaps provide recommendations for improvement. These documents were based on a report to help Member States improve their waste management performance.

The final report was published in 2013.

The EEA also published a report analyzing municipal waste management in Europe.

Phase Two

In its second phase, the Commission organised workshops with representatives from eight Member States to discuss the main lessons learned from the 2014-2015 compliance promotion exercise on municipal waste management. The objective was to assess waste management policy in selected Member States and help them get on track to meet EU waste targets.

The final report is available here.

Inspections and enforcement

Guidance documents  

Waste Management Plans

Member states must prepare waste management plans. These plans should cover the whole country, but local or regional authorities can prepare local or regional plans.

Establishing a waste management plan allows national, regional or local authorities to

  • take stock of the existing situation
  • define objectives
  • define appropriate strategies
  • identify the necessary implementation measures

Article 28(3) of the Waste Framework Directive lists the mandatory elements of a waste management plan, and article 28(4) lists additional elements that may be contained.

How to prepare a waste management plan?

The Commission has published a Guidance Note on preparing waste management plans.

The following studies provide practical recommendations for preparing the plans, based on the assessment of national, regional and local plans from several Member States (2015-2018)

Member States should send waste management plans to the Commission using the format outlined in Annex I.

Basic administrative rules

Every six years, national authorities must evaluate (and revise if necessary) waste management plans.

Relevant stakeholders, authorities and the general public must have the opportunity to contribute to the plans, and access them once complete. The plans must be placed on a publicly available website.

Member States must inform the Commission when plans are adopted or substantially revised.

Waste prevention programmes

The Waste Framework Directive required Member States to establish Waste Prevention Programmes (WPPs) by December 2013.

The Commission has published the following guidance

Member States should notify the Commission of substantial revisions of the waste prevention programmes.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) reviews progress made towards the completion and implementation of the waste prevention programmes. Furthermore, the EEA and Eionet (the European Environment Information and Observation Network) have jointly produced guidelines to help policy makers evaluate expiring waste prevention programmes. More information is available on the EEA’s website.