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Market barriers to land filling are barred by EURO ministers

European Union ministers have rejected calls by the European Commission for EU-wide legislation erecting market barriers against landfilling, such as pay-as-you-throw levies.

Considering the commissions communication Towards a thematic strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste, ministers noted that such schemes have in the past not always achieved the desired objectives for example internalisation of costs and effective behavioural change and can lead to market distortions.

The Council of Ministers had reservations about applying levies at an EU level, adding that such schemes should be implemented regionally or locally tailored to local circumstances. That said, the council accepted commission calls for a more level playing field in recycling and asked it to propose EU standards for certain waste types and recycling facilities.

It also asked Brussels to table changes to the waste framework directive to clarify legal distinctions between waste and non-waste, when waste ceases to be waste and between recovery and disposal.

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