Circular Economy: Reducing waste in Europe

We are producing too much waste. This is why the EU Commission wants clear targets for waste reduction and better waste management and recycling.

How did we get here?

This proposal on waste reduction is one of the first laws to be introduced by the Juncker Commission. They really made an effort in trying to come up with less legislation. For the years to come the Commission also proposed a plan with more comprehensive actions on waste reduction and targets to cover the full economic cycle. Here is the Commission's waste proposal and the action plan for 'closing the loop'.

The action plan is featuring very exciting things that the Commission is looking into as well (for now it is only waste), such as: Water reuse, evil fertilizers, promotion of reparability and recyclability of new products and much more fun stuff which will be unfolding in 2016.

 

Why is this important for me?

Since we are using more and more resources it will become even more crucial to avoid or at least recycle waste and truly create a functioning circular economy. Of course the EU Commission is also telling us it will boost economic growth, enhance competitiveness and all the wonderful pep talk. But jokes aside: Using resources in a more sustainable way is in everyone's long-term interest, right?

 

What's the content?

The updated law (yes, there was an earlier attempt to regulated this which failed) about waste sets very clear targets on waste reduction and is also pushing for a better waste management (apparently some member states are having major trouble with their recycling quota...), e.g. through harmonised calculation methods for recycling rates across Europe.

The numbers as agreed by the European Parliament:

In addition to these hard numbers the Commission also wants to give goodies to those producers that put greener products on the market in the first place.

 

What's happening with this legislation in the future?

In the European Parliament the Environment Committee is responsible for the proposal and the rapporteur Simona Bonafè (IT, S&D) presented her report in May 2016. In March 2017 the Parliament adopted its final opinion which represents its position, ahead of negotiations with the Council, which yet has to adopt its own position.

 

Related Bills:

Less Plastic Bags for Europe

Better energy labels on electronic products

A New Waste Management System in the EU

 

Pic: "Reduce Reuse Recycle" by Steve Snodgrass, March 22, 2011, licensed under CC BY 2.0

politixNew visa rules for EU travellersReduced share of biofuels in energy mixFruit, vegetables and milk for European StudentsBan on all kind of driftnet fisheriesToo big to fail: Structural Reform of EU Banking SectorA European Platform to fight undeclared workA pan-European Pension System Fighting the trafficking of firearmsA New Waste Management System in the EUFinancial Transaction Tax: Making banks pay for the crisisLess Plastic Bags for EuropeEliminating roaming, securing net neutralityRight2Water: Water and sanitation as human rightEnforceable Flight Rights for Air PassengersPublic list of company owners to fight money launderingMore Possibilities for the Restriction of GMOsEuropean Solidarity CorpsTightened rules for safer and cleaner carsSafer Ship TravelsProtecting fish and marine ecosystemsUpdated European data protection laws Resettlement of Migrants in the EUSafety standards for new kinds of CablewaysCheaper cross-border Parcel DeliveryCross-border enforcement for speeding & traffic offencesEU-wide Minimum Standards for FrackingEuropean statistics relating to persons and householdsUpdated Rules for Audiovisual MediaNew Food Labeling RulesAccess to a Basic Bank Account for EveryoneA New Copyright Regime for EuropePollen as specific 'Ingredient' or Natural Honey Component?Rules for cross-border divorcesBetter Management of Asylum FlowsAn Entry-Exit System for External European BordersResolution on Sexual and Reproductive HealthStronger Rules against Terrorism Financing and Money LaunderingCloning of animals New Rules for Tobacco Products and PackagingOrganic production and labelling of organic productsSimpler Rules for VAT in EcommerceLess Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the EUUpdated rules on 'novel foods'Free Wi-Fi for EverybodyEnsure safe and secure air travelBetter Checks of EU Citizens at External BordersUse of Flight Passenger Data Posting of workersBetter Connectivity and super-fast InternetReduced Flush Volume for ToiletsNew rules on privacy in electronic communicationMinimum standards for children accused in courtMore Security in EU Partner CountriesBetter Cooperation among Consumer Protection AuthoritiesEuropass - Better online tools for your job huntStricter Rules for the Export of potentially Dangerous GoodsBetter Protection from Cancer at WorkStrategy Against Discrimination of LGBTI Persons Better protection for children of international couplesCreation of a European Union Agency for AsylumNew consumer rules when (online) shoppingProviding Services more easily across bordersA new electoral law for the European ParliamentBetter access to books for the blindBetter EU access for highly skilled workersCross-border portability: Access to streaming services from abroadMaking products & services more accessible for disabled peopleReducing pollutant emissions from carsConsumer rights for downloads and streaming services Improving the exchange of information on criminalsGeoblocking: Less consumer discrimination onlineBetter energy labels on electronic productsUpdated energy efficiency rulesA European ESTABetter protection for your moneyEuropean Year of Cultural Heritage 2018Creating a European Border and Coast GuardWork-Life Balance for allMore renewable energyEmpowering electricity consumersReducing administrative burden for EU citizens