Leaked draft reveals circular economy plans

   A leaked draft of the European Commission’s circular economy policy paper, likely to come out in July, confirms plans to ban the landfilling of recyclable waste and plastic from 2025 and to require each member state to recycle 70% of municipal waste by 2030.

   EU countries would have to aim for a 30% cut in food waste by 2025 and have separate collection systems for bio-waste by the same date. The landfilling of non-recyclable materials from which energy can be recovered will also be banned in the EU from 2030.
   The draft paper, seen by ENDS, also contains an 80% packaging waste target for 2030, with interim 60% and 70% goals for 2020 and 2025 respectively.

   As expected, the draft calls for a 30% increase in resource productivity by 2030, compared with the 15% increase expected under business-as-usual.

   Each member state should focus on the resources where improvements will be most economically and environmentally beneficial, it says. The paper is part of a wider policy package currently going through the Commission’s internal consultation process and may still change substantially.

   The resource productivity target is one element that the EU executive’s environment unit believes may face opposition from other departments.

  There is also a 30% “aspirational” target for reducing marine litter by 2020 which will apply to the ten items most often found on beaches in each region.

   A new early warning system proposed in the draft would assess member states’ progress towards the municipal and food waste targets as their deadlines approach. Countries that are not on track would have to submit a compliance plan. They may also be allowed up to three additional years to comply with the 2020 target.
   Landfilling and ‘stand-alone’ incineration projects should no longer be supported by EU funds, the draft says. More cross-border transfers of waste might be necessary as a transitional measure to make best use of available waste management capacity.

   The draft also suggests requirements on the durability, reusability and recyclability of products will be incorporated into future ecodesign standards, including those developed under the next 2015-17 work programme.

   There also needs to be more support in achieving green public procurement goals, it says, advice on how to make use of the EU product footprinting methods being trialled, and minimum requirements for national producer responsibility schemes.

   Commenting on reports of a leak in a statement on Wednesday, green group EEB called for wider waste prevention targets, targets for re-use and a limit on incineration.

Excerpted from ENDS Europe DAILY 2014/06/12