MEPs Must Seize Opportunity To Create 800,000 Jobs Across Europe

european-commission-brussels-472x292Over 800,000 new jobs could be created across the EU if MEPs in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee vote for both an ambitious recycling target and to strongly support the refurbishing and reusing sectors, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has said.

Ambitious and intensive support from MEPs for European recycling, reusing and repairing industries could create 867,000 jobs in the EU by 2030 – enough to employ one in six unemployed young people.

“Creating new jobs and slashing marine litter are just two of the benefits that boosting recycling targets and helping the repair and reuse industries could bring. But to truly reap these rewards, MEPs must support ambitious recycling and repairing targets in this crunch vote.”

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee will vote on the Waste Framework Directive between 9am and 11am on Tuesday 24 January 2017.

The 867,000 new jobs assessment comes from the EEB report Advancing Resource Efficiency in Europe. The European Commission’s own impact assessment estimated that the Directive would create 530,000 new jobs by 2030 – without taking stronger reuse and recycling incentives into consideration.

EEB says the Environment Committee MEPs must demand that 70 percent of all waste created in the EU is reused or recycled by 2030, and also set a clear target for the repairing and reusing of waste.

It says MEPs must also act to halve the amount of marine litter the EU pumps into the world’s oceans by 2025. They can do this by phasing out unnecessary, non-reusable packaging and plastic items which are only used once, such as disposable cutlery.

EEB disagrees with allowing extra time for countries to meet recycling targets – as is the case with Estonia, Greece, Croatia, Latvia, Malta, Romania and Slovakia. It says it should instead be encouraging them to boost recycling rates more quickly by supporting waste prevention schemes, the creation of better separate collection systems, progressive economic tools, such as tax cuts for repair work, and improving recycling infrastructure in these countries.

Piotr Barczak, Waste Policy Officer at the EEB, said: “Creating new jobs and slashing marine litter are just two of the benefits that boosting recycling targets and helping the repair and reuse industries could bring. But to truly reap these rewards, MEPs must support ambitious recycling and repairing targets in this crunch vote.”

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