European-level waste rules could create 400,000 jobs

Brussels, 27 May – If EU member states were to fully implement existing waste management regulations, it would create 400,000 jobs, claims Kurt Vandenberghe, head of cabinet for Environment Commissioner Janez Poto?nik.

Brussels, 27 May – If EU member states were to fully implement existing waste management regulations, it would create 400,000 jobs, claims Kurt Vandenberghe, head of cabinet for Environment Commissioner Janez Poto?nik.

With the EU facing rising resource and energy costs, the Commission should make clear the links that exist between waste management, resource efficiency and competiveness, he said. The call is in line with recent proposals and initiatives of the European Commission, such as the communication on industrial policy, which explored the sustainable re-industrialisation of Europe. Better use of resources, it is argued, could play a large role in bringing Europe out of its economic slump.

“We don’t want de-industrialisation. We want re-industrialisation but on a new model with de-materialisation. There are studies showing this is possible and profitable,” said Vandenberghe. Indeed, there have been a number of studies highlighting that cutting waste and implementing recycling rules along the production chain can have large economic benefits.

The European Commission is expected to produce recommendations to member states on how to cut waste and boost recycling and re-use, cutting the cost of waste management in the EU. The recommendations will be released before the end of the month.

For evidence of the potentials of resource efficiency, see the Greenovate! Europe study, ‘Resource efficiency potentials of manufacturing industries’, produced for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

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