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EU recycling target lowered to 65% in new circular economy package

Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2015 | Author: Paul Sanderson

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The European Commission has launched its “more ambitious” circular economy package by lowering the recycling targets.

In the previous package that was withdrawn last year, targets of 70% municipal waste recycling and 80% packaging recycling by 2030 were proposed.

But the new package lowers these to 65% and 75% by 2030 respectively.

A proposed ban on landfill in the previous package was removed, with a new target of reducing landfill to a maximum of 10% by 2030. However, there would be a ban on landfilling separately collected waste.

Economic incentives will also be provided for producers to put greener products on the market and support recovery and recycling schemes for packaging, batteries, WEEE and vehicles.

The transition to a circular economy will be supported by €650 million from Horizon 2020 and €5.5 billion from structural funds for waste management, and investments in the circular economy at a national level.

Action to reduce food waste will also be introduced including a common measurement methodology, improved date marking and tools to meet the global Sustainable Development Goal to halve waste by 2030.

Quality standards will also be developed for secondary raw materials to increase the confidence of operators in the single market.

While measures will be introduced in the Ecodesign working plan for 2015-17 to promote reparability, durability and recyclability of products.

There will also be a strategy on plastics in the circular economy, addressing issues of recyclability, biodegradability, presence of hazardous substances in plastics and actions to reduce marine litter.

European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans (pictured) said: “Our planet and our economy cannot survive if we continue with the ‘take, make, use and throw away’ approach.

“We need to retain precious resources and fully exploit all the economic value within them. The circular economy is about reducing waste and protecting the environment, but it is also about a profound transformation of the way our entire economy works.

“By rethinking the way we produce, work and buy, we can generate new opportunities and create new jobs. With today’s package, we are delivering the comprehensive framework that will truly enable this change to happen.

“It sets a credible and ambitious path for better waste management in Europe with supportive actions that cover the full product cycle. This mix of smart regulation and incentives at EU level will help businesses and consumers, as well as national and local authorities, to drive this transformation.” 

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