Vella – New Circular Economy Package Will Include Waste Targets

The new circular economy package, which is set to be launched by the European Commission towards the end of this year, will include a new legislative proposal on waste targets, Commissioner for Environment, Karmenu Vella (pictured) has announced. 

While speaking at the at the 2015 European Circular Economy Conference, the Commissioner revealed that the waste target proposals in the “more ambitious” package will “be more country-specific.”

The Commission is aiming to re-table the new, “more ambitious” circular economy package late in 2015, after ditching the previous package at the end of 2014. (See CIWM Journal Online story).

Vella said the decision to withdraw the waste legislative proposal was based on the need to better align it with the priorities of the new Commission.

Vella – “I want to assure you that we will keep our EU wide goals on recycling levels… Our success will be measured by how well policies are implemented on the ground. So we will have to set smart, realistic objectives and focus on implementation”

“The Commission has decided to undertake a thorough reflection on how the objective of circular economy can be reached in a more efficient way that is fully compatible with the jobs and growth agenda,” he said.

“Continuously advancing waste management remains a priority of course, through incentives and support for waste reduction as well as high-quality separation and collection systems. The latter ensure that resources stay within the circle and are available for future use.”

Vella also revealed that new approach to the package will firstly present a new legislative proposal on waste targets.

“I want to assure you that we will keep our EU wide goals on recycling levels,” Vella said. ”Our success will be measured by how well policies are implemented on the ground. So we will have to set smart, realistic objectives and focus on implementation.”

The package will secondly prepare a roadmap for further action on the circular economy, considering two aspects:

  • upstream: in the production and use phase, before products become waste
  • downstream: after products are no longer waste, looking at what can be done to encourage and develop a market for the recycled products.

The roadmap will identify what can be done rapidly, and what we should propose at a later stage.

“Both these aspects – the waste targets review and the roadmap – will come together before the end of this year,” Vella said. “I hope you will agree with me that this is quite a broad and ambitious programme.”

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