Support for Commission’s waste prevention plan

Eunomia has unveiled results from the consultation on European Waste Management Targets, which shows 55% of respondents said 'yes' to new waste prevention targets.

The waste consultancy was commissioned to undertake a review of the targets in the Waste Framework Directive, the Landfill Directive and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.

The consultation ran between 4 June and 10 September 2013, during which time a total of 670 responses were received.

The study’s aim was to identify key issues with the existing targets and propose possible solutions. The views expressed are being taken into consideration as part of Eunomia’s ongoing work for the European Commission and will inform further deliberation on the options.

The Government responded to the Consultation, making it clear that it would not support plans to change EU targets or definitions for 2020 set out in the Waste Framework Directive, nor would it support new environmental targets or extending landfill bans or restrictions for specific materials at an EU-level.

A total of 55% of respondents were in favour of new waste prevention targets. Of the three main groups of stakeholders public authorities were the most supportive of targets for waste prevention, with 84% agreeing with the principle. Conversely, only 43% of industry groups and representatives were supportive of waste targets.

The UK rejected changing EU-level targets for 2020, saying that waste management policy and delivery requires “stability and a long term direction of travel.”

The response stated that changes to targets “would be unlikely to improve the current system and could result in perverse or unintended outcomes”.

It also said that the UK would only support extending landfill bans or restrictions for specific materials if there were a “clear economic and environmental case to do so”.

In relation to changes to targets on municipal waste, a majority of respondents selected option six, which was to improve monitoring and validation of the reports submitted by member states so that the consistency and reliability of data can be validated.

In relation to changes to packaging and packaging waste directive, a majority of respondents chose option one, which suggested the methodology for calculating recycling rates should be standardised so that data (and hence performance levels) are comparable across member states.

Proposed recycling rate target changes most opted for by respondents are the following:

  • Paper and cardboard 75% (achievable by 2021)
  • Glass 80% (achievable by 2021)
  • Metals 75% (achievable by 2021)
  • Plastic 60% (achievable by 2022)
  • Wood 60% (achievable by 2022)
  • All packaging 70% (achievable by 2022).

Liz Gyekye


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