MEPs welcome new circular economy proposals but regret weaker waste targets 

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The new legislative proposals for a circular economy tabled by the European Commission and presented to MEPs by Commission Vice-Presidents Frans Timmermans and Jyrki Katainen, along with an action plan, were cautiously welcomed by MEPs on Wednesday. But they argued that on waste recycling, reducing food waste and landfill, the proposals aim too low.

The revised legislative proposal on waste sets EU targets for reducing waste (recycling rates of 65% of municipal waste and 75% of packaging waste by 2030). The Commission also proposes to reduce landfill’s share to a maximum of 10% of all waste by 2030.

In July 2014, the Commission put forward a package, including a legislative proposal on waste, before withdrawing it the following December. It later pledged to put forward “a more ambitious proposal”.

In a July 2015 resolution, Parliament advocated strictly limiting incineration of recyclable and biodegradable waste by 2020, phasing in a ban on landfilling by 2030, and raising targets for recycling and preparation for re-use to at least 70% of municipal solid waste and 80% of packaging waste by 2030.

Next steps

The Environment Committee will appoint rapporteurs in the coming weeks on the various pieces of legislation proposed.