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European Parliament backs measures to close the loop on circular economy.
 12.07.2015 01:21:06

The European Parliament today voted to back strong waste and recycling targets, and pushed for solutions to the fundamental problem of Europe's resource overconsumption.

The vote comes after the European Commission controversially shelved its flagship piece of waste and resource legislation the circular economy package last year. It has since promised to re-table it in a "more ambitious" form.

In June, The Parliament's Environment Committee backed binding measures to boost recycling and cut EU waste and resource dependency as part of the revised package. Today's plenary vote formally accepted the vast majority of these proposals, including:

  • Binding recycling targets a 70% target for municipal solid waste and an 80% target for packaging waste by 2030
  • Measures to cut incineration of non-recyclable waste after 2020, and the removal of incineration subsidies
  • Legally binding proposals to measure 'footprint indicators' for land, materials, water and carbon by 2018 the first step towards reducing resource consumption

However, MEPs stopped short of backing a legally binding 30% "resource productivity" target which would begin the process of cutting overall resource use in the EU. Instead, a weaker 30% voluntary target was adopted.

Ariadna Rodrigo, resource use campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said "The Parliament has provided the baseline which the new circular economy package must live up to. True 'ambition' means not just dealing with waste and recycling, but taking concrete steps to address the fundamental problem of resource overconsumption in the EU. The next step must be to set binding resource reduction targets, but measuring what we consume is a strong start.

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