The European Commission plans for a 70% recycling target by 2030 and a landfill ban on recyclable waste from 2025 looks probable as increased targets are set to be proposed to the European Parliament later this month. The proposals, which are currently still in the draft stage, incorporate details of the measures expected to be included in the EU’s much anticipated circular economy package.
Recycling targets to 2030
The policy proposals also include details of changes to packaging recycling targets which will rise to 80% by 2030 with an interim target of 60% by 2020, and 70% by 2025. It is expected that individual targets for all recyclable waste materials such as plastics, metals, glass, paper, cardboard and biodegradable waste will also be included in this.
A landfill ban on all of these materials, alongside other recyclable waste, is proposed to be implemented by 2025. It is probable that this will be extended and, by 2030, will include all recoverable waste. A 30% target for resource efficiency is also set to be put in place for all Member States by 2030. The target is in relation to raw material consumption and gross domestic product (GDP) and intends to encourage the EU to improve resource efficiency.
The key points from the proposal regarding recycling which are most likely to be pursued are listed below:
- Target to improve resource efficiency by 30% by 2030
- 70% municipal waste recycling target by 2030
- 80% packaging waste recycling target by 2030 with interim targets of 60% by 2020 and 70% by 2025
- Plastics banned from landfill by 2025
- Landfill bans for all recyclable waste by 2025 and for all recoverable municipal waste by 2030
Although it has been acknowledged that ‘substantial’ progress has been made over the last 20 years concerning improvements to recycling and reduction of waste to landfill, it is noted in attached documentation to the proposals called ‘Towards a circular economy: A zero waste programme for Europe’ that many Member States still have a way to go.
Future progression for recycling in the EU
To enable Member States to align with more successful countries, the commission has suggested that: “Strong policy signals are needed to create longer term predictability for investment and change so that materials, such as plastics, glass, metals, paper and other recyclables, re-enter the economy as secondary raw materials. Setting clear recycling targets for the period up to 2030 will provide such predictability and certainty. Land filling of all recoverable materials should be effectively banned in the mid-term (by 2030) with an interim ban of recyclable waste by 2025.”
The proposal includes other measures such as plans to align data collection and reporting systems across the EU including ensuring more efficient calculation methods for recycling targets. Also proposed are amendments to the Ecodesign Directive to improve product design for recyclability and new measures for Green Public Procurement.
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