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European Parliament not impressed by Commission approach to Waste targets

During the EP environment committee on 15th June, MEPs dismissed the Commission’s over optimistic assessment that member states will meet the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) target of 50% for recycling of household waste for 2020   Going further, MEPs criticised the European Commission for failing to play its role in motivating member states to achieve the 50% household waste recycling target for 2020.  Speaking for the European Commission (DG ENV), Kestutis Sadauskas, responsible for the circular economy unit said he was optimistic that member states are broadly on track to reach the 50% goal set in the current directive. However, Simona Bonafe, the ENVI committee rapporteur on the forthcoming waste law changes foreseen as part of the circular economy package, did n’t share the Commission representative’s optimism. MEPS argued that on the basis of the current standards the EU would not reach the 2020 targets.  Other MEPS wanted the Commission to take further action against Member States that are lagging behind with their targets and list of countries that are implementing separated waste collections which have been compulsory for member states since January 2015. The Commission (DG ENV) did acknowledge though that there may be a handful of member states who will miss the 2020 targets and suggested progress will be closely monitored via the recently launched Early Warning System.  The ENVI session on WFD implementation comes as the European Parliament is working on its position on changes to EU waste laws under the circular economy package. Mrs Bonafe is expected to publish her draft views as rapporteur in the next week, and ENVI MEPs will have until 1st July to submit amendments.

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