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The EU sets new targets for waste management


Earlier this morning, under the guidance of Estonia, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union signed a provisional agreement to amend the waste management directives. By 2025, the level of recycling municipal waste will increase to 55% and by 2030, to 60%.

‘The waste package is definitely one of such drafts whose impact will not go unnoticed by any European citizen, as all of us are confronted by this issue daily. Considering that only 36% of municipal waste is recycled in Europe, many Member States have to make great efforts to achieve the new goals pursued,’ said Siim Kiisler, Minister of the Environment.

If by 2020, Member States of the European Union will have to recycle 50% of municipal waste generated, then the target will increase by 5% every five years. In other words, by 2025, the level of recycling municipal waste will increase to 55%, by 2030, to 60%, and by 2035, 65% of household waste will be recycled.

A completely new restriction on landfilling will be established – by 2035, no more than 10% of municipal waste generated can be deposited in a landfill.

‘The world population is growing and consumption along with it, which is why it is important that we use natural resources sensibly and sustainably. Consumables should not be sent to a landfill; instead, they should be reprocessed to produce new products from waste. Waste which cannot be processed into new products needs to be used for the production of heat and electricity instead of sending to a landfill, thus saving mineral resources and forests,’ explained Kiisler.

The European Commission initiated an amendment of the waste management directives at the end of 2015 with a view of promoting the transition to a circular economy. In total, six directives on landfills, waste, packaging and packaging waste, as well as batteries and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) will be amended.

The most significant changes are restrictions on the landfilling of municipal and all types of collected waste, general requirements for extended producer liability systems, the requirement for separate collection of construction and demolition waste, the establishment of a uniform formula for calculating the municipal waste target, and new targets for recycling municipal and packaging waste.

Ambassadors of the European Union Member States will discuss the agreement next year and then submit the draft to the European Parliament for voting. The final step is adopting the draft at a Council meeting.

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