Circular Economy: Learn more
In 2014, the European Commission (EC) put forward an initial Circular Economy proposal to address the issue and help European businesses and consumers make the transition to a circular economy where waste is viewed as a ‘resource’ that can be recycled, re-used or remanufactured.
The plan will be backed by €5.5bn from the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) and €650m from Horizon 2020 (the EU funding programme for research and innovation).
What is the status with EU waste policy today?
The 2008 Waste Framework Directive sets the overarching legislative framework for EU waste policy. The directive sets binding targets to be achieved by 2020: preparing for reuse and recycling of 50% of certain waste materials from households and similar sources, and preparing for reuse, recycling and other recovery of 70% of construction and demolition waste.
Meanwhile, the 1999 Landfill Directive bans landfilling of untreated waste. The directive sets a goal that the share of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfills may not be greater than 35% in 2016, compared to the baseline year of 1995.
The aims are to protect the environment and to safeguard the functioning of the internal market. It requires Member States to take measures to prevent packaging waste and to develop packaging reuse systems.
When will it happen?
The proposal is currently going through the EU legislative process. Before the Circular Economy proposal is passed into law, all three European institutions (the European Council, European Parliament and the European Commission) must have an agreed stance, which they will then take into a series of discussions.
Both European Parliament and Council of Ministers can amend the legislation but must agree upon the same text before the bills can become law. This means that a final proposal will likely not be established until the second half of 2017. Malta, currently hold the EU Presidency, hope to reach a deal with MEPs before 1 July, as its six-month Presidential term ends.
What does the change mean?
The targets listed under the Circular Economy proposal will be implemented by national governments across the EU Member States (including Ireland) and are targeted at the waste performance of households and businesses.
What are the targets listed under the proposal?
The original Circular Economy proposal intended to increase recycling levels and tighten rules on incineration and landfill. It consists of six individual bills on waste, packaging, landfill, end-of-life vehicles, batteries and accumulators, and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
The re-tabled proposal, unveiled in December 2015, included eco-design rules for products to make them easier to recycle. But it also had lower 2030 targets for recycling municipal and packaging waste, and replaced a 2025 aspirational landfill reduction target of 25% with a mandatory 10% goal for 2030.
This target was recently rejected as” watered-down” ambitions. A vote has advocated to reinstate the 70% target for municipal waste recycling, strengthening current proposals by 5%.
Meanwhile, a 2030 target for packaging recycling was voted to be 80% – higher than the 75% previously backed by the Commission. And the waste-to-landfill target has been restricted to 5%, replacing a mandatory target of 10% by 2030. MEPs have also voted for a European Union (EU) food waste reduction target of 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, compared to 2014.
The proposal includes a series of additional measures and targets, including:
- The promotion of economic incentives to discourage landfilling;
- A ban on landfilling of separately collected waste;
- Simplified and improved definitions and harmonized calculation methods for recycling rates throughout the EU;
- Define measures to promote re-use and stimulate industrial symbiosis – turning one industry’s by-product into another industry’s raw material;
- Economic incentives for producers to put greener products on the market and support recovery and recycling schemes (e.g. for packaging, batteries, electric and electronic equipment, vehicles).
- Four legislative proposals (included) are legal acts: Waste Framework Directive; Landfilling Directive; Packaging Waste Directive; Directives on end-of-life vehicles, on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, and on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
About Recycle IT
Recycle IT is an award-winning not for profit social enterprise providing a collection and drop off service for all types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). During 2016 Recycle IT supported drop off and collection services to over 100,000 homes, schools, charities and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE which includes thousands of computers, cables, monitors, microwaves and TV’s.
Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT are supported by Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow.
To learn more about Recycle IT or to book a collection or drop off please call 01 4578321 or email us here.