Commission proposes new recycling targets in Circular Economy package

2 July 2014, Brussels – The European Commission has released a new Legislative Proposal putting forward ambitious recycling targets for 2030. The Proposal is accompanied by a Communication on the Circular Economy setting out how to establish a common EU framework to promote the move to zero-waste.

2 July 2014, Brussels – The European Commission has released a new Legislative Proposal putting forward ambitious recycling targets for 2030. The Proposal is accompanied by a Communication on the Circular Economy setting out how to establish a common EU framework to promote the move to zero-waste.

The Commission’s Proposal would update existing Waste Directives and its targets would be legally binding. The Commission believes that achieving these targets would create 180,000 jobs in the EU whilst also making Europe more competitive. The targets are to:

  • Increase recycling and re-use of municipal waste to 70% by 2030;
  • Increase re-use or recycling of packaging waste to 80% by 2030 (with material specific targets of 90% for paper, 60% for plastics, 80% for wood and 90% for ferrous metals, aluminium and glass);
  • Phase out landfilling of recyclable waste by 2025;
  • Reduce food waste generation by 30%, and;
  • Increase the cost-effectiveness of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes.

The proposed targets fit into a broader effort to move Europe from a linear to a circular economy, where re-use, recycling and repair keeps raw materials in use for longer, thus avoiding waste. This thinking is elaborated further in the Communication ‘Towards a Circular Economy’, which explains how innovation in markets for recycled materials, eco-design, new business models and industrial symbiosis could support the move to a zero-waste economy.

The Commission has also stated that a target of 30% improvement in resource productivity by 2030 should be considered in the upcoming review of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Resource productivity would be measured on the basis of GDP/Raw Material Consumption, which was found to be the most suitable indicator following recent consultations.

Other complementary Communications in the package to support the Circular Economy include:

The Commission’s Proposal for Amending the Waste Directives will now move to the Council and the Parliament for discussion.

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