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European Parliament's Environment Committee votes for mandatory separate collection of bio-waste

On 24th January, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI) voted on the Waste Legislative Package (Waste Framework Directive, Packaging and packaging waste, End-of-life vehicles and Batteries, accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators - Waste electrical and electronic equipment and Landfill of waste) which makes part of the Circular Economy Package put forward by the Commission in December 2015.  This vote is the first step towards entering negotiations with the European Commission and Council of the EU.

Below in this article are highlights from the European Compost Network's recent news article.  They describe the vote as setting 'a clear signal towards high quality recycling' and say that 'including a definition of organic recycling and the obligation for separate collection of bio-waste will lead to better and sustainable bio-waste management in Europe'.

The ENVI Committee has agreed to the following:

  1. Removal of the conditionalities ‘technically, environmentally and economically practicable’ with regard to separate collection (including that of bio-waste), except for sparsely populated areas, following approval by the Commission for this exception.
  2. Separately collected waste may not be offered to and used in incineration plants.
  3. An overall recycling rate of 60% of municipal waste by 2025, to be increased to 70% by 2030.
  4. Inclusion of a list of instruments Member States may use to maximise the uptake of secondary materials, which includes technical and fiscal measures to support the development of markets for re-used products and recycled (included composted) materials. In general, Member States shall make use of both regulatory and economic instruments in order to incentivise the uptake of secondary raw materials.
  5. Inclusion of a request to the Commission to consider setting recycling targets for commercial and industrial waste similar to those set for municipal waste. The Commission has to send a report on this by 31 December 2018.
  6. Inclusion of a request for the European standardisation organisations to develop quality standards for waste going into the final recycling process.
  7. The Commission must, by the end of 2018, propose an amendment to the relevant regulation to introduce European waste codes for separately collected bio-waste.
  8. Inclusion of a demand that Member States encourage home-composting.
  9. Inclusion of a definition of commercial & industrial waste.
  10. Inclusion of a definition of bio-waste which includes ‘waste with similar biodegradability and compostability properties’ and excluding the criteria ‘quantity’.
  11. Inclusion of a definition on organic recycling, which excludes mechanical biological treatment and landfill as being considered organic recycling.
  12. Member States must use traceability and quality assurance schemes to ensure that the output of organic recycling meets relevant high quality standards.
  13. Inclusion of a definition of food waste, a food waste hierarchy and a non-binding food waste reduction target in line with international agreements.


Remaining legislative process

The final vote on the proposals in the package will take place at the European Parliament Plenary session on 13th - 16th March 2017 in Strasbourg.  Discussion about the waste proposals is continuing in the Council of the EU and together with the European Parliament and European Commission, they will try to reach agreement on aspects where they currently hold different views.  This is part of a ‘first reading’ process and a ‘second reading’ process would be carried out if necessary.

Further info

European Parliament's press release
'The share of waste to be recycled should be raised to 70% by 2030, from 44% today, while landfilling, which has a big environmental impact, should be limited to 5%, said Environment Committee MEPs on Tuesday, as they amended the draft EU "waste package” legislation. They also advocate a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030.'

European Parliament Newsroom article

Waste package (circular economy): extracts from the vote and statement by Simona BONAFÈ (S&D, IT), Rapporteur 

Views of the European Parliament versus Council of the EU in December 2016

ORG's article published: 27/01/2017
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 2017
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