European Parliament has not formally objected to the European Commission’s proposed 2015 workplan, despite the majority of MEPs backing calls for the EU circular economy package to not be withdrawn from the Commission’s agenda this year.
The circular economy package included a 70% recycling or reuse target for municipal waste by 2030, and to ban recyclable materials such as plastics, paper, metals, glass and biodegradable waste to landfill by 2025.
The EU’s waste package, however, was dropped at the end of last year, to be replaced with a more “ambitious proposal” by the end of 2015.
It is understood the Commission wants to combine the circular economy package with Juncker’s new Investment Plan.
Liberal Democrat MEP for South East England, Catherine Bearder – “A clear majority of MEPs have signalled that they don’t want to see a weakening of EU proposals on waste and air quality”
MEPs from the Liberals, Socialists and Greens had clubbed together to vote in favour of individual amendments criticising the withdrawal of the environmental proposals. Each of the three groups’ amendments on waste and air quality received narrow majorities.
Political groups were unable to agree on the wording of the joint resolution to object to shelving the package in Strasbourg late last week (January 15). Each group tabled its own resolution, but none received overall majority support.
Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder, part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group, which agreed the resolution, said the vote sent a message to the Commission that the majority of MEPs are against dropping the waste and recycling proposals.
She said: “A clear majority of MEPs have signalled that they don’t want to see a weakening of EU proposals on waste and air quality.
“This sends a simple message to the Commission: yes to better regulation but not at the expense of our environment.
“Businesses and the public are crying out for action to put our economies on a more sustainable footing. The Commission must deliver for them now.”