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European Parliament urged to back 70% municipal recycling rate

Eu parliament strasbourg

The European Parliament is being recommended to back for higher municipal recycling targets and the introduction of goals for trade waste in its draft response to the proposed circular economy (CE) package.

In December, the European Commission published its original proposals, including a target of 65% for the preparation for reuse and recycling of municipal waste by 2030 and a 75% target for packaging waste.

Simona bonafe

Simona Bonafe

Now the Parliament’s rapporteur for the package, Simona Bonafe (pictured), has proposed higher targets for municipal waste of 60% by 2025 and 70% by 2030, as well as one harmonised calculation method across member states instead of the Commission’s suggested two.

She also put forward higher packaging waste targets of 70% by 2025 and 80% by 2030.

Her proposal says the waste definition must be based on the input of materials for the final recycling process and backed with a solid reporting system that prevents landfilled or incinerated material being labelled ’recycled’.

It calls for the mandatory separate collection of bio-waste by 2020 as a specific recycling target.

Member states are also called on to include in their national prevention plans an objective that is at least equivalent to a reduction of food waste by 50% by 2030.

Additional separate collection streams for wood, textiles and hazardous waste are also put forward.

The maximum amount of waste landfilled by 2030 is reduced to a stricter 5%, down from 10% in the Commission’s package.

No targets for the recycling of trade waste were included in the Commission’s original CE package, but Bonafe has called for such targets for 2025 and 2030 to be established by the end of 2018.

Lobbying group the European Environmental Bureau said the report ”does a good job raising ambition and clarity” of the Commission’s original proposals but warned that “weak aspects could see millions of tonnes of useful material burned or buried each year”.

It said the single methodology for calculating recycling rates was “important to gain an accurate picture to better identify problems and opportunities” but said the food waste reduction target was “only aspirational” and would be harder to enforce because it was EU-wide.

Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson said: “I am pleased to see a clear position from the European Parliament Environment Committee in relation to the harmonisation of recycling rate calculation methodology.

“This amendment clearly marks out a desire to see the reporting of discarded waste as recycled waste prevented and states clearly the desire to settle on point of input to final recycling process as the correct point of measurement. We warmly welcome this.”

Bonafe’s report will be discussed and voted on by the environment committee in November before going to a full plenary vote early next year, when it will be adopted as the European Parliament’s position.

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