Trade body the Resource Association has welcomed the European Commission’s adoption of the Green Growth Packaging, including higher recycling targets for Europe and the Green Employment Initiative.
Among the measures announced by the European Commission were policies to aid the jobs transition to a more green and circular economy.
This will involve among other measures fostering the development of appropriate skills and better forecasting skills needs, supporting job creation through shifting taxation away from labour and on to pollution and improving monitoring and analysis of labour market impacts of the green economy.
Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson said: “There is considerable merit in the Commission’s proposals for a 70 per cent municipal recycling target and higher targets for packaging materials.
“Together with the focus on separate collection of food waste, the use of an overall indicator and target for resource efficiency, a strong focus on eliminating recyclable wastes from landfill and the emphasis on building a recycling society with greater employment opportunities, this is a package that should fire up the ambition of Europe for a more circular economy and provide a step change in the way we think about and treat resources formerly regarded as waste.
“We applaud the linking of the Green Employment initiative with the package of targets on recycling and the circular economy and very much welcome the emphasis on the positive economic and employment benefits of this ambitious package.
“Now is the time for the UK to engage with Europe and share in this ambition. No doubt elements of the proposals will be seen by some as too ambitious, but we do not share this view. Stretching targets and clear policy signals send the right message to the resources management industries.
“A European recycling society that prizes the quality and value in its discarded resources and maximises their economic and environmental value is well worth striving for, and I applaud Commissioner Potočnik for his leadership on this important issue.”