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2015/0275(COD) - 14/03/2017 Text adopted by Parliament, partial vote at 1st reading/single reading

The European Parliament adopted by 576 votes to 95, with 27 abstentions, amendments to the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2008/98/EC on waste.

The matter was referred back to the committee responsible for interinstitutional negotiations. The vote on the legislative resolution has been postponed to later session.

The main amendments adopted in plenary concerned the following issues:

Aim: Parliament stipulated that this Directive shall lay down measures to protect the environment and human health by:

preventing or reducing the adverse impacts of the generation and management of waste;

  • reducing overall impacts of resource use and improving the efficiency of such use;
  • ensuring waste is valued as a resource with a view to contributing to a circular economy in the Union.

Members stressed the need to apply the waste hierarchy in order to enhance the transition towards a circular economy. They also wanted to encourage the use of secondary raw materials.

Municipal waste: the definition of municipal waste shall cover mixed waste and separately collected waste from small businesses, office buildings and institutions including schools, hospitals, and government buildings that is similar to household waste in nature and composition.

The terms commercial and industrial waste, sorting, litter, food waste and residual waste have also been highlighted.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes: Members proposed introducing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes and to define it based on harmonised rules. Extended producer responsibility is an individual obligation on producers who should be accountable for the end-of-life management of products that they place on the market.

Member States should ensure the establishment of extended producer responsibility schemes for at least packaging, electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators, and end-of-life vehicles.

Waste prevention: Member States shall aim to achieve, at least, the following objectives:

  • a significant reduction in waste generation;
  • decoupling of waste generation from economic growth;
  • a progressive substitution of substances of very high concern if there are suitable alternative substances or technologies that are economically and technically viable;
  • a Union food waste reduction target of 30 % by 2025 and of 50 % by 2030 compared to the 2014 baseline and similar objectives marine litter.

In order to achieve these objectives, Member States shall in particular promote and support sustainable production and consumption models; discourage the placing on the market of products with planned obsolescence; reduce food losses along the whole supply chain and prevent littering.

By 31 December 2018, the Commission shall examine the possibility of setting up Union-wide waste prevention targets to be met by 2025 and 2030.

Re-use: Members suggested defining more clearly the notion of reuse. Re-use, should be regarded as a specific waste prevention measure and incentivised by the Member States. Measures shall be encouraged to promote the re-use of products. These measures may include encouraging the establishment and support of recognised re-use networks, deposit-refund and return-refill schemes and incentivising remanufacturing, refurbishment and repurposing of products.

Preparation of re-use and recycling: Member States shall take ambitious measures in respect of the preparing for re-use. They shall:

  • set up mandatory separate collection of textiles by 2020;
  • take measures to ensure the sorting of construction and demolition waste ;
  • promote sorting systems for commercial and industrial waste for at least the following: metals, plastics, paper and cardboard, bio-waste, glass and wood;
  • set up separate collection for hazardous waste from households.

Parliament proposed that by 2030, the preparing for re-use and the recycling of municipal waste shall be increased to a minimum of 70 % by weight of municipal waste generated, including a minimum of 5 % of total municipal waste prepared for re-use. The Commission had proposed a target of 65 %.

Member States which in 2013 recycled less than 20% of their municipal waste may ask the Commission for an additional five years in order to reach the preparation for re-use and recycling targets set for 2025 and 2030.  To obtain these exemptions, the Member States concerned should submit an implementation plan, to be assessed by the Commission on the basis of specific criteria, and should meet interim targets relating to preparation for re-use and recycling.

The Commission shall examine the possibility of setting preparing for reuse and recycling targets that apply to commercial waste, non-hazardous industrial waste and other waste streams to be met by 2025 and 2030.

Parliament also placed emphasis on the need for specific measures for the reprocessing of organic waste and called for the separate collection of bio-waste to be made mandatory and supported with suitable economic instruments. 

Framework for the circular economy: no later than 31 December 2018, the Commission shall draw up a report assessing the need for Union targets, particularly for a Union resource efficiency target, as well as a report identifying obstacles hampering the shift to a circular economy. It should present a comprehensive review of Union eco-design legislation.