On 2 July 2014, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to review recycling and other waste-related targets in the EU.
The aim of the proposal is to help turn Europe into a circular economy, boost recycling, secure access to raw materials and create jobs and economic growth. The European Commission has set extremely high targets for the continent as part of the circular economy package.
Recycling and preparing for re-use of municipal waste is set to be increased to 70% and packaging waste to be increased to 80% by 2030. Material specific targets are to be set to gradually increase between 2020 and 2030, for example plastics to be increased to 60%.
The most interesting proposal is to phase out recycling and non-hazardous of plastic waste by 2025. Europe is in dire need of a more circular economy. This means re-using, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products. What used to be regarded as ‘waste’ can be turned into a resource. All resources need to be managed more efficiently throughout their life cycle.
Both Scotland and Wales are making greater headway in making this a reality by setting even stricter targets. The Scottish Government's Zero Waste Plan aims to change how waste is viewed and managed by setting a 70% recycling target to all waste types, a maximum of 5% going to landfill by 2025 and a ban on all biodegradable waste to landfill by 2020. Wales are working their own Towards Zero Waste programme by 2050 but will require 70% recycling by 2025. Only waste that cannot be recycled should be sent to Energy from Waste plants.
In comparison, Europe still has to play catch up to catch up with the likes of Scotland, Wales and especially San Francisco who aim to eliminate waste that is neither recycled nor composted
by 2020. However, with the reviewed recycling and waste legislation it is most definitely a step in the right direction.
Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHP) include a wide range of personal care items including nappies, feminine hygiene and continence care products. Many of these contain high levels of plastic, which is not biodegradable and therefore is currently disposed at landfill or incineration.
Knowaste’s unique process enables us to recycle 100% of AHPs, removing them from the waste stream and recycling them into useable products. Therefore Knowaste can enable Local Authorities to achieve their recycling targets both now and in the future.
We are great supporters of the proposed recycling targets and hope to be an integral part of the UK to hit its targets as we progress. Follow the link for more information on the European Commission’s developments.