The Waste Framework Directive revision is a missed opportunity, says Zero Waste Europe, the Brussels-based environmental NGO (non-governmental organisation).
While Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) says it welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to introduce EU-wide food waste reduction targets, it regrets that the proposal “missed an opportunity” to address key issues in the waste sector.
The ZWE says the food waste reduction targets set by the Commission for processing and manufacturing (10%) and retail, services, and households (30%) fall “far short” of the commitment made under Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which is 50%.
Theresa Mörsen, Waste & Resources Policy Officer at Zero Waste Europe, commented: “We sincerely hope that this target will be strengthened during the negotiations to include a 50% reduction by 2030 from farm to fork.
“The focus on retail and consumers in the proposal lets many production and processing businesses off the hook. The fact that primary production was excluded completely is highly regrettable as this sector produces high amounts amount of food losses and waste.”
We sincerely hope that this target will be strengthened during the negotiations to include a 50% reduction by 2030.
However, ZWE says the proposed extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme for textiles is a first step towards holding producers accountable for the products they release into the market. But it is critical of the thirty-month transition period and ZWE says the revision does not go far enough in reshaping the rules for EPR in the EU.
ZWE says the Commission needs to address issues such as the amount of eco-modulated fees that can be charged and the governance of Producer Responsibility Organisations. ZWE continues that the revisions “leave a lot to be desired” as they focus on consumers rather than industry.
Janek Vähk, Zero Pollution Policy Manager at Zero Waste Europe, added: “Recent reports from the EEA and the European Court of Auditors reveal the insufficient progress made by the EU towards achieving a circular economy. Today’s proposal overlooks the crucial challenges at hand at a time when we need to take more immediate action.
“We urgently call upon the European Parliament and the Council to implement essential measures, including the establishment of residual waste targets and mandatory sorting of waste that is not separately collected.”