The European Parliament has backed new recycling targets as part of the circular economy legislation.
Europe’s recycling rate is 44% currently, but it is hoped that by 2025, these targets will see it rise to at least 55% of municipal waste from households and businesses, with agreement that it will rise to 60% by 2030, and 65% by 2035.
In terms of packaging materials, 65% will have to be recycled by 2025, and 70% by 2030, with separate targets set for specific packaging, such as paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, metal and wood.
The draft law also limits the share of municipal waste being landfilled to a maximum of 10% by 2035.
Following the UN sustainable development goals, member states will aim to reduce food waste by 30% by 2025, and 50% by 2030, while also providing incentives for the collection of unsold food products and their safe redistribution.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have said that consumer awareness of the meaning of “use by” and “best before” label dates should also be improved.
Lead MEP Simona Bonafé said: “With this package, Europe is firmly committed to sustainable economic and social development, which will at last integrate industrial policies and environmental protection”
“This package also contains important measures on waste management, but at the same time goes further, by defining rules taking into account the entire life cycle of a product and aims to change the behaviour of businesses and consumers. For the first time, Member States will be obliged to follow a single, shared legislative framework.”
The draft will go back to Council for formal approval before publication in the Official Journal of the EU.