EU Council Adopts Circular Economy Package

The EU Council has today confirmed its formal adoption of the Circular Economy Package, which will set out new rules for waste management and establish new targets for recycling, including the separate collections of textiles and hazardous waste from households.

“I am very pleased that ministers have given their approval to the revised legislation on waste today” commented Neno Dimov, Bulgarian Minister of Environment and Water. Europe is moving towards a circular economy. These new rules protect not only our environment but also the health of our citizens. Today we close the loop of product lifecycles, from production and consumption to waste management. This decision is about making our economies more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

The new targets set for member states, as it looks to increase the reuse and recycling of municipal waste are to achieve 55 percent by 2025, 60 percent by 2030 and 65 percent by 2035.

Member states will be required to set up, by 1 January 2025, separate collections of textiles and hazardous waste from households. In addition, they will ensure that by 31 December 2023, biowaste is either collected separately or recycled at source (such as via home composting). This is in addition to the separate collection which already exists for paper and cardboard, glass, metals and plastic.

The legislation also defines specific recycling targets for packaging:

By 2025 By 2030
All packaging 65% 70%
Plastic 50% 55%
Wood 25% 30%
Ferrous metals 70% 80%
Aluminium 50% 60%
Glass 70% 75%
Paper and cardboard 75% 85%

Landfill Reduction Target

The Council has also stated: “The legislation also contains a landfill reduction target, and sets minimum requirements for all extended producer responsibility schemes. Producers of products covered by these schemes must take responsibility for the management of the waste stage of their products, and will be required to contribute financially. Mandatory extended producer responsibility schemes for all packaging have also been introduced. Member states shall endeavour to ensure that as of 2030, all waste suitable for recycling or other recovery, in particular in municipal waste, shall not be accepted in a landfill.

“The waste package will lead to more recycling of waste and so contribute to the creation of a circular economy. It will encourage the use of recyclable packaging and reusable packaging and will improve the way waste is managed.”

Now that the Council has adopted the legislation, it will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal.

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