EC environment commissioner Janez Potočnik has outlined his support for a Europe-wide ban on landfill and called for a “societal change” across member nations.
Speaking at an event organised by the Science|Business Innovation Board, Potočnik said there were five to six EU countries that were already “practically” sending no waste to landfill already, but that some other countries were sending up to 90% of their waste.
He argued that with the right innovation, financial incentives and international co-operation a full landfill ban could be achieved.
He added: “It is possible to create a predictable environment where everyone knows what to do.
“We have to think of the cost of inaction, not action.”
In May MEPs voted overwhelmingly in favour to draw up proposals to be drawn up by the end of 2014 that would lead to a gradual phasing out of landfill.
Mr Potočnik also reiterated calls for greater “resource efficiency”, which includes reusing more material and making materials more recyclable.
He said: “Producing recyclable, reusable products makes sense for the environment.”