European Parliament backs higher recycling rates

The European Parliament has backed more ambitious recycling targets, setting Europe to drastically reduce using landfills for waste. Under the draft legislation, the share of waste to be recycled would […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The European Parliament has backed more ambitious recycling targets, setting Europe to drastically reduce using landfills for waste.

Under the draft legislation, the share of waste to be recycled would rise from 44% to 70% by 2030. The European Commission had proposed 65%.

For packaging materials, such as paper and cardboard, plastics, glass, metal and wood, MEPs propose an 80% target for 2030.

They also want the waste package plans to limit the share of landfilling to 5% and deliver a 50% reduction in food waste during the same period.

Statistics for 2014 suggest around 44% of all municipal waste in the EU is recycled or composted and by 2020, EU Member States are expected to be recycling or composting more than 50% of waste.

Lead MEP Simona Bonafè said: “Today, Parliament by a very large majority has showed that it believes in the transition towards a circular economy.

“Re-use, recycling and recovery are becoming the key words around which a new paradigm needs to be built to promote sustainability, innovation and competitiveness so that waste will cease to be a problem and become a resource.”

The draft legislation will be discussed with the European Commission and Member States before becoming law.

A recent report suggested EU waste rules could cost Britain as much as £2 billion over the next 20 years.