EU-wide waste measuring method must be introduced if targets are to deliver real results – HAYES
MEPs vote to boost recycling rates and limit food waste
Brian Hayes MEP said that a vote in the European Parliament on draft amendments to the waste package legislation is a major step towards achieving a circular economy.
“We want to move away from a ‘take, make, dispose’ culture with a fast-turnover objective, to an economy where products are designed to last and can be repaired, reused, recycled, and remanufactured,” he stated.
MEPs voted on four waste-management directives, with the main focus on household and small firms waste, which accounts for 8% of all waste. Targets to be reached by 2030 now include:
- Increasing the share of recyclable waste from 44% to 70%
- Strengthening separate waste-collection systems for different kinds of waste (including biowaste and textiles)
- Reducing food waste by 50%
“Every year in Ireland, one third of food bought in supermarkets is thrown in the bin, costing households about €1000. As a nation we are binning one million tonnes of food every year – this is a hefty enough chunk of the 89 million tonnes of food wasted across Europe annually and shameful when we consider that 15% of our population has experienced food poverty at some point. This rises to 35% for those on low incomes.
“The next challenge is to introduce a common EU-wide method to measure exactly how much of our waste gets recycled. Until that happens, targets won’t impact. Binding regulation needs to happen because it’s been proven in the past that voluntary codes have uneven rates of uptake and often deliver lacklustre result. Watertight regulation delivers a level playing field and leads to swift and dramatic improvements.”