The packaging compliance specialist appreciates the aim to improve the way in which, among other things, packaging waste is managed. The vote, which took place on 18 April, has seen the key waste management element of the Circular Economy Action Plan move one step closer to Europe-wide adoption.
Alongside requiring 55% of all municipal waste to be recycled by 2025, and 65% by 2035, the targets outline that no more than 10% of municipal waste should go to landfill by 2035. There will be separate collections for textiles, bio-waste and hazardous waste, and objectives such as reducing food waste by 50% in the EU will also be introduced in line with UN sustainable development goals.
The new legislation will enable more effective support of the ethos of the waste hierarchy, with a mandatory extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme to be established for all packaging by 2025. This will extend the producer’s responsibility for a product to the post-consumer stage of its lifecycle.
Michelle Carvell, chief operating officer, Lorax Compliance, commented: “It’s a really positive step forward to see European MEPs debating waste strategy and the circular economy with such passion and ferocity. Ambitious targets are essential if we are to make a dent in the waste problem, so to see a commitment to phasing out landfill to less than 10% of municipal waste over the next 20 years is welcome indeed.
“From a manufacturer perspective, it’s important to have clarity on what the new EPR requirements will mean. There will be a greater incentive to reduce and prevent packaging waste at every stage of a product’s lifecycle. The right infrastructure and development work needs to be put in place now to make this a reality in the future. We expect to see better performance and stronger governance of EPR schemes and a much greater focus on waste prevention. All-in-all, good news for the environment.”
Following adoption by the European Parliament this week, the Council will now need to formally approve the text before it is published in the Official Journal of the EU. It will come into force 20 days’ later.”