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Lords call on EU to tackle food waste

The House of Lords EU committee has proposed food waste reduction strategies to the European Commission for inclusion in its revised circular economy (CE) package.

A definition of food waste and data collection guidelines, cross-border supply chain monitoring and distribution of unsold food to charities are all recommended in a letter signed by 16 member states.

The letter, sent to Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on 22 July, also proposes the sharing of best practice between member states and the creation of a working group to assess inclusion of food waste policies.

Chair of the Lords EU energy and environment sub-committee Baroness Scott said in a Youtube video: “We hope that in all the member states who have signed it, it will help to raise awareness of the food waste problem in their own countries.

“The main point is to ask the Commission to come forward with some specific proposals to help us tackle this enormous problem.”

Committee chairman Lord Boswell of Aynho wrote the letter, which was also signed by 15 other chambers and parliaments:

  • Bulgaria (National Assembly)
  • Croatia (Croatian Parliament)
  • Cyprus (House of Representatives)
  • Czech Republic (Chamber of Deputies)
  • France (Assemblée Nationale)
  • France (Sénat)
  • Hungary (National Assembly)
  • Italy (Senate)
  • Latvia (Saeima)
  • Lithuania (Seimas)
  • Luxembourg (Chamber of Deputies)
  • Malta (House of Representatives)
  • The Netherlands (Tweede Kamer)
  • Portugal (Assembleia da República)
  • Slovakia (National Council)

The committee said it also hopes to enable national parliaments to influence the development of EU policy through joint proposals to the Commission.

This initiative, called a ‘green card’, was first proposed in the committee’s report on the role of national parliaments in the EU, published in March 2014.

The Commission is set to release its revised CE package this autumn, with two public consultations currently open to feed into this.

Its original proposals, scrapped last December, included binding targets of 70% recycling of municipal solid waste and 80% for packaging waste by 2030 for all member states.

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