European Parliament voted for ambitious waste targets and separate collection for bio-waste
With great majority, the members of the European Parliament adopted the report of the ENVI Committee on the waste legislative proposals in the Plenary on 14 March 2017. The aim of the proposals is to move towards a Circular Economy by strengthening the waste hierarchy and mandating separate collection of bio-waste across Europe.
By and large, the ENVI report was adopted with additional amendments giving a clear signal towards high quality recycling. Besides the inclusion of a definition for organic recycling, there is an obligation for separate collection of bio-waste. There is also an amendment on setting up quality assurance schemes for bio-waste management by Member States aiming to improve sustainable bio-waste management in Europe by producing high quality recycled products for the European market.
The adopted text on the waste proposal includes the following:
- 70 % target for recycling of municipal waste with a 5 % of that waste to be prepared for reuse by 2030;
- Mandatory separate collection for the main waste streams, including bio-waste;
- Limitation to incinerate separately collected waste;
- Use of regulatory and economic instruments in order to incentivise the uptake of secondary raw materials..
The amendments approved by the MEPs will now be assessed by Member State governments before being considered by European ministers. Negotiations on the proposals between the European Council of Ministers and the Commission are expected to commence in the coming months.
Defra are continuing to be involved in the process as depending on the Brexit timetable, the UK may have to sign up to the Circular Economy package.