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Recycling target should be 70 pct, say Euro-MPs

Recycling target should be 70 pct, say Euro-MPs

Image Alex Marshall 2004, Clarke Energy Ltd

(BRUSSELS) - 70 per cent of waste should be recycled by 2030 - from 44% today - a European Parliament committee said Tuesday, with landfill, which has a big environmental impact, being limited to 5 per cent.

The Parliament's Environment Committee, which was amending the draft EU "waste package" legislation, also advocated a 50 per cent reduction in food waste by 2030.

Statistics from 2014 suggest that 44% of all municipal waste in the EU is recycled or composted. This compares to just 31% in 2004, and by 2020 EU member states should be recycling or composting over 50% of waste.

This restores the targets for recycling and landfill to those the Commission originally proposed in 2014 - "in line with the transition towards a circular economy", said the lead MEP for the legislation Simona Bonafe.

She added that "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."

By 2030, at least 70% 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 Commission proposed 65%.

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.

The draft law limits the share of municipal waste to be landfilled to 10% by 2030. MEPs have proposed tightening 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.

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% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, compared to 2014. They also propose a similar target for marine litter.

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

Further information, European Parliament

EU waste policy: implementation appraisal

Tackling food waste: the EU’s contribution to a global issue

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