By 2025, at least 55% of municipal waste (from households and businesses) should be recycled by member states.
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.
The draft law also limits the share of municipal waste being landfilled to a maximum of 10% by 2035.
In 2014, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden sent virtually no municipal waste to landfill, whereas Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Latvia and Malta still landfill more than three quarters of their municipal waste.
“With this package, Europe is firmly committed to sustainable economic and social development, which will at last integrate industrial policies and environmental protection”, said lead MEP Simona Bonafè (S&D, IT).”
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.
“With this package, Europe is firmly committed to sustainable economic and social development, which will at last integrate industrial policies and environmental protection”, said lead MEP Simona Bonafè (S&D, IT).
“The circular economy is not only a waste management policy, but is a way to recover raw materials and not to overstretch the already scarce resources of our planet, also by profoundly innovating our production system.
“This package also contains important measures on waste management, but at the same time goes further, by defining rules taking into account the entire life cycle of a product and aims to change the behaviour of businesses and consumers. For the first time, member states will be obliged to follow a single, shared legislative framework.”
The four pieces of legislation are part of a “shift in EU policy towards a circular economy”, the Commission says, and will improve waste management, benefit the environment, climate, and human health.
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.
The news follows confirmation buy Defra that the UK intended to vote to in favour of the EU’s Circular Economy Package and its tough recycling targets.