Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted in favour of a more ambitious recycling target.
They backed a recycling goal of 70% by 2030 – an increase from 44% – and a limit of 5% of waste sent to landfill as they amended the draft EU waste legislation.
They also agreed a non-binding target to cut food waste by 50% by 2030, up from the original 30% goal.
Statistics from 2014 suggest 44% of all municipal waste in the EU is recycled or composted and by the end of the decade, Member States should hit the 50% goal.
Italian MEP Simona Bonafè said: “The ENVI [Environment, Public Health and Food Safety] committee has showed that it believes in the transition towards a circular economy. We decided to restore the ambitious recycling and landfill targets in line with what the Commission had originally proposed in 2014.
“There will no longer be the possibility for Member States with the lowest recycling rates to have a ‘blanket’ derogation. They will be able to request a derogation but it will be subject to specific conditions.”
The proposals will be put to a vote by the full House at the March plenary session in Strasbourg.
A recent report suggested a more consistent waste management system is needed to improve Britain’s recycling rates.