European Parliament approves amendments to EU revision of Waste Framework Directive


On Tuesday 13th  February the European Parliament debated and voted upon the EU Revision to the Waste Framework Directive and the Thematic Strategy on the Recycling of Waste.

On the opening day of February’s plenary session, the European Parliament approved the amendments to the Waste Framework Directive as proposed by the Commission.   MEPs voted by 651 votes to 19 (16 abstaining) to adopt the proposal within the report as presented by the rapporteur, Dr. Caroline Jackson, who is the British MEP leading Parliament’s negotiation of the Directive.   Amendments include the use of a five stage-hierarchy with Member States required to take measures in descending order of priority, for:

1.        the prevention and reduction of waste

2.        the re-use of waste

3.        the recycling of waste

4.        other recovery operations

5.        the safe and environmentally sound disposal of waste

In addition, the importance of individual producer responsibility to ensure that producers take into account the life-cycle impacts of their products and to develop appropriate design was formalized through the inclusion of the polluter pays principle

To move towards a ‘European Recycling Society’, MEPs called for binding targets on waste reduction so that “by 2020 Member States shall achieve at least an overall re-use and recycling level of 50% for Municipal Solid Waste and 70% for construction, demolition, industrial and manufacturing waste.”   In addition, it was approved that “by 2015, Member States shall set up separate waste collection schemes for at least the following: Paper, metal, plastic, glass, textiles and other biodegradable waste, oil and hazardous wastes.”

Other measures to the Directive include the requirement of Member States to draw up national waste prevention programmes and the decision that incinerators will be able to qualify as recovery plants, but with no formula or efficiency criteria applied to this.  Additionally, the European Parliament voted for the strategy to include less use of landfill sites.

To see the amendments adopted by the European Parliament last week, please follow link For further information on the revision to the Directive of Waste, please follow link

Votes on the Thematic Strategy on Waste Prevention and Recycling added provisions for the ban of landfilling materials such as glass, textiles, metals and plastics from 2012, and a total landfill ban on recyclable materials from 2020.  For further information on the Thematic Strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste, please follow link

Source: Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Waste Group


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