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EMAS in the European Parliament: A quiet success story

19-12-2018

The European Union (EU) Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary management instrument for companies and other organisations wanting to evaluate, report and continuously improve their environmental performance. In order to register with EMAS, organisations must meet the requirements of the EU EMAS Regulation – (EC) No 1221/2009 – and the ISO 14001:2015 standards. In 2007, as part of its commitment to making a long-term contribution to sustainable development, the European Parliament ...

The European Union (EU) Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary management instrument for companies and other organisations wanting to evaluate, report and continuously improve their environmental performance. In order to register with EMAS, organisations must meet the requirements of the EU EMAS Regulation – (EC) No 1221/2009 – and the ISO 14001:2015 standards. In 2007, as part of its commitment to making a long-term contribution to sustainable development, the European Parliament became one of the few EU institutions and the first parliament in the EU to obtain EMAS certification. Through its environmental management system it is able to track progress with regard to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and waste, promoting the efficient use of energy, water and paper, incorporating environmental guidelines into procurement procedures, and raising awareness of environmentally friendly behaviour among its staff and Members. This document details the Parliament's progress to date in meeting its targets in all of the above-mentioned areas, and maps out its ambitions for the future.

Autor externo

This document has been compiled and edited by Desislava Boyadjieva, with graphics by Nadejda Kresnichka-Nikolchova, Publications Management and Editorial Unit, EPRS, on behalf of the EMAS Unit, a Central Service attached to the Secretary-General of the European Parliament.

Circular economy package: Four legislative proposals on waste

04-07-2018

Although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, over a quarter of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between Member States. Improving waste manage¬ment could deliver positive effects for the environment, climate, human health and the economy. As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission made four legislative proposals introducing new waste-management targets regarding reuse ...

Although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, over a quarter of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between Member States. Improving waste manage¬ment could deliver positive effects for the environment, climate, human health and the economy. As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission made four legislative proposals introducing new waste-management targets regarding reuse, recycling and landfilling, strengthening provisions on waste prevention and extended producer responsibility, and streamlining definitions, reporting obligations and calculation methods for targets. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final acts were signed on 30 May 2018. Member States are required to transpose the directives into national law by 5 July 2020. This updates an earlier edition, of March 2018: PE 614.766.

Circular economy: Four proposals on waste

11-04-2018

As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission put forward four legislative proposals intended to improve waste management in the European Union in 2015. First-reading negotiations with the Council delivered a compromise, which now awaits a vote in Parliament during the April plenary session.

As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission put forward four legislative proposals intended to improve waste management in the European Union in 2015. First-reading negotiations with the Council delivered a compromise, which now awaits a vote in Parliament during the April plenary session.

Circular economy package: Four legislative proposals on waste

15-03-2018

Although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, over a quarter of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between Member States. Improving waste manage¬ment could deliver positive effects for the environment, climate, human health and the economy. As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission made four legislative proposals introducing new waste-management targets regarding reuse ...

Although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, over a quarter of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between Member States. Improving waste manage¬ment could deliver positive effects for the environment, climate, human health and the economy. As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission made four legislative proposals introducing new waste-management targets regarding reuse, recycling and landfilling, strengthening provisions on waste prevention and extended producer responsibility, and streamlining definitions, reporting obligations and calculation methods for targets. The agreement reached by Council and Parliament is to be submitted for a vote in plenary in spring 2018. This updates an earlier edition, of May 2017: PE 603.954. "A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html"

Waste Management in Europe: Main Problems Identified in EU Petitions and Best Practices (updated version)

13-03-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee examines the application and proper transposition of European environmental law on waste by Member States, that is one of the recurrent topics addressed by the Committee on Petitions, which collects complaints from citizens in this matter and call for respect of the rule of law. Waste management concerns all activities and actions that are required ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee examines the application and proper transposition of European environmental law on waste by Member States, that is one of the recurrent topics addressed by the Committee on Petitions, which collects complaints from citizens in this matter and call for respect of the rule of law. Waste management concerns all activities and actions that are required to manage waste, from its generation to its final disposal. This includes the collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste, together with monitoring and regulation. This study is an updated version of the previous research from 2011. Based on the results from 2011, new petitions from 2013 to 2016 were analysed with the aim to update the main findings and recommendations on the crucial areas of complaints. The results of the recently carried out assessment show that most of the analysed petitions still relate to deficits in the waste management system, the operating of existing installations (mainly landfills) and the permitting procedure for new facilities. In addition, two petitions address the improper management of radioactive waste which constitutes a new area of complaint (EURATOM Treaty) compared to the analysis in 2011. For all the main areas covered, best practice examples and recommendations for better approaches in future were updated and reviewed.

Autor externo

Martin GIERSCH; Francesca MONTEVECCHI; Christian NEUBAUER; Umweltbundesamt GmbH

Research for TRAN Committee - Battery-powered electric vehicles: market development and lifecycle emissions

15-02-2018

As 2018 gets under way, there are probably more than three million electric cars in circulation in the world. There are also more than six hundred million electric bikes, scooters and motorcycles. Plus a few hundred thousand electric buses and other types of quadricycles having an electric motor. The first part of this paper traces the fast evolving market of electric road vehicles. The second part shows that the production of hundreds of millions of battery packs requires a lot of energy and plenty ...

As 2018 gets under way, there are probably more than three million electric cars in circulation in the world. There are also more than six hundred million electric bikes, scooters and motorcycles. Plus a few hundred thousand electric buses and other types of quadricycles having an electric motor. The first part of this paper traces the fast evolving market of electric road vehicles. The second part shows that the production of hundreds of millions of battery packs requires a lot of energy and plenty of scarce resources, which affects the real impact of electric vehicles on the climate and the environment and make it necessary to consider the recovery and recycling of used batteries.

Autor externo

Linda Ager-Wick ELLINGSEN, Christine Roxanne HUNG

Circular economy package: Four legislative proposals on waste

24-05-2017

Although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, over a quarter of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between Member States. Improving waste management could deliver positive effects for the environment, climate, human health and the economy. As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission made four legislative proposals introducing new waste-management targets regarding reuse ...

Although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, over a quarter of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between Member States. Improving waste management could deliver positive effects for the environment, climate, human health and the economy. As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission made four legislative proposals introducing new waste-management targets regarding reuse, recycling and landfilling, strengthening provisions on waste prevention and extended producer responsibility, and streamlining definitions, reporting obligations and calculation methods for targets. This briefing updates an earlier edition, of February 2017; PE 599.288.

Plastics in a circular economy: Opportunities and challenges

17-05-2017

Plastics pervade modern life; plastics production has been growing exponentially since the 1960s and is expected to double by 2036. Although there are over 1 000 types of plastic, 90 % of plastics are derived from virgin fossil fuels. In Europe, post-consumer plastic waste is either incinerated with energy recovery (39 %), landfilled (31 %) or recycled (30%). It is estimated that half of the plastic waste recycled is treated in the EU, while the other half is exported for recycling. The production ...

Plastics pervade modern life; plastics production has been growing exponentially since the 1960s and is expected to double by 2036. Although there are over 1 000 types of plastic, 90 % of plastics are derived from virgin fossil fuels. In Europe, post-consumer plastic waste is either incinerated with energy recovery (39 %), landfilled (31 %) or recycled (30%). It is estimated that half of the plastic waste recycled is treated in the EU, while the other half is exported for recycling. The production and consumption of plastics today offer a series of benefits (in particular low production costs, durability and versatility) but also pose a number of problems (in particular loss of material value as a result of single use and low recycling rates, as well as ill-effects on nature, climate and human health). Marine litter and microplastics are a source of particular concern. Several pieces of EU legislation apply to plastics and plastic waste, although implementation is incomplete. In 2015, the Commission identified plastics as one of the priority areas of the circular economy action plan, proposed new reuse and recycling targets for plastic packaging waste and pledged to adopt a strategy on plastics in the circular economy by the end of 2017. A circular economy implies reducing waste to a minimum. Moving the plastics value chain in this direction would mean improving recycling, promoting reuse, and redesigning products, while taking into account the whole life-cycle of products. Although this could deliver opportunities (in particular enhanced security of supply, economic benefits and reduced pressure on the environment) there are also challenges (in particular weak economic incentives, technical issues and finance). The European Parliament recognises the need to introduce specific measures on plastic waste in EU legislation and to value plastics as a resource.

Circular economy with focus on waste, renewable energy and sustainable bioenergy in Estonia

15-05-2017

This briefing reviews Estonia’s progress in the transition to a circular economy, focusing on a three crucial and related policy areas: waste, renewable energy and sustainable bioenergy. A key challenge for Estonia in terms of moving to a circular economy will be to strengthen recycling, as well as high rates of separate collection in cities including Tallinn – Estonia is not on track to meet the EU’s 2020 targets for municipal solid waste recycling. • The share of renewable energy has increased ...

This briefing reviews Estonia’s progress in the transition to a circular economy, focusing on a three crucial and related policy areas: waste, renewable energy and sustainable bioenergy. A key challenge for Estonia in terms of moving to a circular economy will be to strengthen recycling, as well as high rates of separate collection in cities including Tallinn – Estonia is not on track to meet the EU’s 2020 targets for municipal solid waste recycling. • The share of renewable energy has increased strongly in the past ten years, due mainly to a growth in wind power and biomass, which is used for household heating and for district heating. The intensity of forest use is among the highest in the EU. As a large share of Estonian forests will reach maturity in coming years, Estonia has the capacity to extract greater levels of biomass.

Autor externo

Tony Zamparutti, Alicia McNeill, Harri Moora, Maarja Joe and Evelin Piirsalu

Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment

04-04-2017

The IA defines in a clear way the problems and the objectives of the proposed initiative, and is based on extensive research conducted by external contractors. However, it omits to explain the sequential process and the underlying assumptions leading to the identification of the four problems analysed, mentioning only the supporting studies. Also, it contains some discrepancies with respect to the supporting studies in terms of terminology and recommendations which are not explained in the IA. A ...

The IA defines in a clear way the problems and the objectives of the proposed initiative, and is based on extensive research conducted by external contractors. However, it omits to explain the sequential process and the underlying assumptions leading to the identification of the four problems analysed, mentioning only the supporting studies. Also, it contains some discrepancies with respect to the supporting studies in terms of terminology and recommendations which are not explained in the IA. A broad range of stakeholders provided valuable data and information that were used in the IA, even though only 40 (out of 300) provided comments and suggestions. The IA seems to make a reasonable case for the preferred options, which are reflected in the legislative proposal, intending to amend four articles of RoHS 2. However, one of these amendments has been proposed without a clear explanation being provided in the IA. The analysis of competitiveness of SMEs appears to be, in general, insufficiently developed or explained.

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