Circular economy: plans to boost recycling and cut landfilling
The share of municipal waste to be recycled will rise from 44% today to 55% by 2025, under legislation on the circular economy to be put to the vote on Wednesday.
Improving waste management can deliver benefits for the environment, climate, and human health, but not only. The four pieces of legislation are part of a shift in EU policy towards a circular economy, i.e. a system where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible.
By 2025, at least 55% of municipal waste (from households and businesses) should be recycled, says the text. The target will rise to 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035. 65% of packaging materials will have to be recycled by 2025, and 70% by 2030. Separate targets are set for specific packaging materials, such as paper and cardboard, plastics, glass, metal and wood.
The draft law also limits the share of municipal waste to be landfilled to a maximum of 10% by 2035. In 2014, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden sent virtually no municipal waste to landfill, whereas Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Latvia and Malta still landfill more than three quarters of their municipal waste.
Background: what is a circular economy?
A circular economy implies reducing waste to a minimum as well as re-using, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products. Moving towards a more circular economy will reduce pressure on the environment, enhance security of supply of raw materials, increase competitiveness, innovation and growth, and create jobs.
Debate: Tuesday 17 April
Vote: Wednesday 18 April
Procedure: Ordinary legislative procedure
Press conference: Wednesday; 18 April, 14:00 tbc