Only recycling rates above 80% allow for a “significant slowdown” in natural resource depletion, the head of the Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) has warned.
A presentation to the European Commission’s green week conference in Brussels by FEAD president Peter Kurth said: “If growth of total consumption of raw materials is reduced below 1% per year, recycling can play an important role. Only recycling rates above 80% allow a significant slowdown of the depletion of natural resources.”
Kurth’s presentation also referred to findings by a recent European Topic Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production report, which identified an ideal ‘policy mix’ of initiatives that have led to the most improved recycling rates in leading countries.
These policies included landfill and incineration taxation, a ban on specific municipal solid waste streams and biodegradable municipal waste streams.