MEPs vote for 'more ambitious' waste policies

56 MEPs voted on June 18 for a resolution to urge the EU Commission to follow through on its pledge to develop a new ‘circular economy’ policy package before the end of 2015. It will be put before all MEPs at a plenary session in July.

The Commission is currently drafting a new set of proposals to amend waste and recycling legislation after scrapping proposals that were put forward by the former Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik last summer.  A consultation on the principles of the new proposals will run until August.  The Commission stated that it is looking to develop a ‘more ambitious’ approach to waste and resources to encompass product design, reuse and repair.


"A circular economy is an economic and ecological win-win"

The Commission is being urged to:

  • Announce proposal on review of waste by the end of 2015
  • Set extended producer responsibility requirements 
  • Endorse the ‘pay-as-you-throw’ principle 
  • Prioritise separate collection schemes 
  • Increase municipal recycling targets to 70%
  • Introduce a ban on landfilling recyclable and biodegradable waste by 2025 
  • Introduce a total landfill ban by 2030 and 
  • Introduce fees for landfilling and incineration.

Speaking after the meeting of the Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in Brussels, Sirpa Pietikäinen - the Finnish MEP responsible for the resolution - said: "It is a vital step for the EU to use resources more efficiently and to reduce our resource dependency and also to bring savings in material costs.  As Europe is more dependent on imported resources than any other region in the world, moving towards a circular economy is an economic and ecological win-win scenario."

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