The European Parliament today voted to back strong waste and recycling targets, and pushed for solutions to the fundamental problem of Europe's resource overconsumption.
The vote comes after the European Commission controversially shelved its flagship piece of waste and resource legislation – the circular economy package – last year. It has since promised to re-table it in a "more ambitious" form.
In June, The Parliament's Environment Committee backed binding measures to boost recycling and cut EU waste and resource dependency as part of the revised package. Today's plenary vote formally accepted the vast majority of these proposals, including:
However, MEPs stopped short of backing a legally binding 30% "resource productivity" target – which would begin the process of cutting overall resource use in the EU. Instead, a weaker 30% voluntary target was adopted.
Ariadna Rodrigo, resource use campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said "The Parliament has provided the baseline which the new circular economy package must live up to. True 'ambition' means not just dealing with waste and recycling, but taking concrete steps to address the fundamental problem of resource overconsumption in the EU. The next step must be to set binding resource reduction targets, but measuring what we consume is a strong start.