Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella has suggested that the recycling targets set out in the original Circular Economy Package, prior to it being scrapped, will remain at that level when the re-tabled package is introduced this autumn.
In an interview with EurActiv, Vella (pictured) said: “When we talk about targets, we are going to remain ambitious there, but we want to be more ambitious when it comes to implementation, because it’s useless putting layers and layers of legislation when we get the results and output.”
He said: “We will retain the same objectives for the countries. All objectives will be the same for all member states, but it is a fact that we have different member states running at different speeds.
“We do not have an issue with those that want to attain or even exceed the targets but we do have an issue with those member states which are not achieving those targets.”
Vella – “We will retain the same objectives for the countries. All objectives will be the same for all member states, but it is a fact that we have different member states running at different speeds”
European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed the original waste proposals set out by former Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik would be axed at the end of last year, claiming that they won’t deliver the results needed in their current form. (See CIWM Journal Online story)
The original circular economy package included a 70% recycling target for municipal waste by 2030, 80% recycling for packaging, such as glass, paper, metal and plastic by 2030, and a ban on landfilling of all recyclable and biodegradable waste by 2025.
This was dropped at the end of last year, to be replaced with a more “ambitious proposal” by the end of 2015, according to the Commission.
“We have to identify why they are not delivering on targets, what the bottlenecks are,” said Vella, “and support them to deliver them”.
Earlier this month the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) published a document on what the European Commission’s new Circular Economy Package, dubbed the “Circular Economy Package 2.0”, should look like. (See CIWM Journal Online story)
It said, in particular, the new Circular Economy Package should:
- Develop a system to rate the durability and reparability of products and establish standards to measure these aspects for products placed on the European market
- Set design requirements for products to guarantee a minimum life time and ensure nondestructive disassembly of products into individual parts and components for reuse
- Provide consumers with more information about product lifetimes through provision of information on the average estimated product lifetime
- Extend minimum legal warranties to at least 3 to 10 years depending on the product category and oblige manufacturers EU-wide to prove the full functioning of their products in case of early failure during the first two years after purchase as a minimum
- Make repair information, service parts, and diagnostic tools available to all independent re-use operators
- Spare parts must be widely available and affordable for a minimum of 10 years following the last product batch and available at non-discriminatory pricing to third parties. Re-use of used and remanufactured product components must also be allowed
- Lower taxes on repair service activities and higher taxes on resource-intensive and single use products
- Establish a public communication campaign highlighting the manifold opportunities and benefits of reuse and repair of products.