EU set to push for higher recycling rates and landfill ban


European Union Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik has revealed that the Commission is set to unveil a package of measures towards developing a circular economy “in the next few weeks”.

This will include higher recycling targets and plans to eliminate landfill as a form of waste treatment.


Speaking at the opening of Green Week 2014 in Brussels, Commissioner Potočnik said: “If you discard those resources at the end of the useful life of a product, of a building, of infrastructure, then you are losing the possibility of getting value out of those resources again and again. So it is through circular economy models that we have the greatest opportunity to revolutionise Europe’s resource efficiency and make Europe competitive for the future.

“From this, it is pretty obvious that in a circular economy there can be no places for waste. It simply should not exist. That is why the package the Commission will adopt in a few weeks will have at its core a push for higher recycling rates, and a push for the elimination of landfill in waste legislation.

“European waste legislation has already been driving us in the right direction for some time. Some Member States are already achieving 70 per cent recycling rates and virtually zero landfill, but for others you can pretty much exchange those figures. We need to get all of Europe up to the level of the best by 2030, and that is the objective we should set ourselves in the package.”

He added that the package will set out the instruments needed to induce changes in design, in investments, in business models and in markets.