Friends of the Earth React to EU Waste Report

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Last week, European Parliament rapporteur for the EU Circular Economy Package, Simona Bonafè, issued a draft report on tackling waste in Europe. The report highlights some big waste challenges like food waste, unnecessary packaging and marine litter, but also had fundamental weaknesses that will see millions of tonnes of useful material burned or buried each year.

Commenting on the report, Friends of the Earth Europe, said: “A strong signal has been given to the Commission that Europe’s waste legislation needs to be more ambitious. We welcome the steps taken to ensure the separate collection of bio-waste and the reduction in incineration, yet there is still room for improvement. The key to a true circular economy lies in preventing waste being created in the first place, and we need binding targets in this area.

“Bonafé’s report lacks concrete targets on waste prevention – binding targets to reduce the total amount of waste generated are crucial to address our overconsumption crisis and reduce resource use.

“The proposal for granting extensions on the targets for some member states remains a mess and will not help member states effectively move towards a circular economy. We need to reward countries who consume less and generate less waste, by granting derogations only for those that send a small weight of waste per capita going to landfill and incineration.

What we are missing is a binding EU-specific target on food waste, not just an aspirational one. Around 30% of the world’s agricultural land area is lost due to global food waste – it is unjust and unsustainable for European decision-makers not to play their part in reducing this.”