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Green groups set out 10 steps for resource efficient Europe


A coalition of leading green NGOs have issued a joint statement calling for the European Union to implement 10 steps that will lead to a resource efficient Europe.

Signed by the European Environment Bureau (EEB), Seas at Risk, Zero Waste Europe, Rreuse, Greenpeace, Ecos, the Surfrider Foundation and Friends of the Earth Europe, the joint statement calls for a 70 per cent recycling target for municipal waste across Europe, introducing binding waste prevention targets including for food waste, banning landfilling and incineration by 2020 for all recyclable and compostable waste, and promoting producer responsibility and resource taxation schemes.

EEB policy officer for waste Piotr Barczak said: “The review of waste policy is an opportunity to set Europe on a path towards resource efficiency. The EU depends on imports for most of its valuable materials, yet many of these end up in landfills and incinerators.

“This is not just a missed opportunity, it is pure folly.”

Published ahead of Clean Up Europe Day on 10 May, the NGOs have issued the call also ahead of the expected revision of the Landfill, Packaging and Packaging Waste and Waste Framework Directives in the European Union’s waste review that should be published next month.

The 10 steps in full are:

  1. Set a binding EU material reduction target based on the Total Material Consumption indicator
  2. Set a zero residual waste target (the waste that is not reused or recycled) by 2025
  3. Introduce binding waste prevention targets for municipal, commercial and industrial waste at the European and national levels
  4. Set preparation for reuse targets for municipal solid waste and packaging, with targets for – at a minimum – textiles and furniture, based on the weight of material per capita put back on the market by approved reuse centres. The targets must not be combined with recycling
  5. Increase recycling targets to at least 70 per cent of municipal solid waste, using only one harmonised methodology for all Member States to report on, based on the recycling output. Set an overall packaging recycling target at 80 per cent and boost plastic packaging recycling to at least 75 per cent
  6. Set a binding quantitative marine litter reduction target of 50 per cent with an explicit definition of litter included in waste legislation, in recognition of the serious negative impacts on the marine environment
  7. Introduce obligatory separate collection of waste by 2020, in particular for biowaste from homes and the hospitality sector as well as separate collection for materials including paper, cardboard, metals and textiles
  8. Promote economic instruments that support the full implementation of the waste hierarchy, such as extended producer responsibility, pay-as-you-throw schemes and the taxation of resources where appropriate
  9. Design out single-use, non-recyclable products and toxic materials such as microplastics and oxo-fragementable plastics
  10. Ban landfill and incineration by 2020 for all recyclable and compostable waste. Ban the financing of incinerators and landfills via structural and cohesion funds.