EU Member States have approved a series of new rules to improve waste management and recycling processes through the EU.
They plan to phase out the use of landfill sites and promote the use of economic instruments such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes to make companies responsible for their products even after they become waste.
The new legislation requires countries to take a more circular approach by introducing specific measures to prioritise prevention, reuse and recycling instead of storing rubbish in the ground or burning it.
The rules dictate hazardous household waste will have to be collected separately by 2022, bio-waste by 2023 and textiles by 2025.
By 2035, the amount of municipal waste send to landfill will need to be reduced to 10% or less of the total amount of municipal waste generated.
The EU also says mandatory EPR schemes will have to be established for all packaging by 2024.
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “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.”