Based on the principles of circular economy, the new guidelines aim for a drastic reduction of landfilling
New rules on waste recycling in the context of broader ‘circular economy’ policies were adopted last week by the European Council, setting a target of 55% recycling of municipal waste by 2025, 60% in 2030 and 65% by 2035. The Commission notes that the disposal of waste in landfills makes no sense in a circular economy and can pollute water, soil and air and that by 2035, the amount of municipal waste landfilled must be reduced to 10% or less of the total amount of municipal waste generated.
The new rules aim to gradually phase out landfill disposal and strengthen the "waste hierarchy" method, where separate collection for paper and cardboard, glass, metals and plastic will be required, in order to enhance the quality of secondary raw materials and their exploitation.
The specific recycling targets for packaging waste are the following:
The member states should also have separate collections for hazardous household waste by 2022, for bio-waste by 2023 (they could be collected separately or recycled at source -e. g. home composting-) and for textiles by 2025.
The new guidelines set minimum requirements for all extended producer responsibility schemes, where producers of items covered by these schemes must take responsibility for the management of the waste stage of their products and for which they will be required to contribute financially. Mandatory extended producer responsibility schemes for all packaging have also been introduced. Member states shall endeavor to ensure that as of 2030, all waste suitable for recycling or other recovery, in particular in municipal waste, shall not be accepted in a landfill.
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said: "The final approval of new EU waste rules by the Council marks an important moment for the circular economy in Europe. The new recycling and landfilling targets set a credible and ambitious path for better waste management in Europe. Our main task now is to ensure that the promises enshrined in this waste package are delivered on the ground. The Commission will do all it can to support Member States and make the new legislation deliver on the ground."
Source: Consilium Europa