European Parliament backs Circular Economy package – including biowaste collections
In April the EU Parliament adopted ambitious recycling targets, under legislation on waste and the circular economy. The four pieces of legislation are also part of a shift in EU policy towards a circular economy, i.e. a system where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible.
By 2025, at least 55% of municipal waste (from households and businesses) should be recycled, says the text, as agreed with Council of Ministers. The target will rise to 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035. 65% of packaging materials will have to be recycled by 2025, and 70% by 2030. Separate targets are set for specific packaging materials, such as paper and cardboard, plastics, glass, metal and wood.
Member states should endeavour to ensure that as of 2030, all waste suitable for recycling is not accepted in a landfill. The draft law also limits the share of municipal waste being landfilled to a maximum of 10% by 2035. Textiles and hazardous waste from households will have to be collected separately by 2025. By 2024, biodegradable waste will also have to be either collected separately or recycled at home through composting.
In line with the UN sustainable development goals, member states should aim to reduce food waste by 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. In order to prevent food waste, member states should provide incentives for the collection of unsold food products and their safe redistribution. Consumer awareness of the meaning of "use by” and "best before” label dates should also be improved, say MEPs.
The text now goes back to Council for formal approval before publication in the Official Journal of the EU, the official record of all EU legal acts.