New EU waste laws approved with strengthened role for re-use

New EU waste laws approved with strengthened role for re-use

On 22nd May EU Member States rubber stamped final revisions to key EU waste laws, including the Waste Framework Directive. The decision marks the end of lengthy negotiations between the EU Council and Parliament on legislative proposals published within the Commission’s Circular Economy Package in December 2015.

The legislation will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal and will be followed by a two-year period of transposition at national level.

RREUSE welcomes the updates to the Waste Framework Directive which will help boost discussion and action at national level on waste prevention and support for social enterprise active in re-use and repair, extending product lifetimes and creating local green and inclusive jobs. Mandatory reporting of ‘preparation for re-use’ rates separate to that of recycling, as well as future development of quantitative indicators to measure re-use are just a handful of positive additions to the updated law.

Whilst more binding provisions should have been set, Member States are encouraged to go beyond the new rules and look to countries such as Spain which already have targets for preparation for re-use, and set targets themselves ahead of future EU action. An assessment by the Commission into quantitative targets for both preparing for re-use and re-use activities will have to be carried out prior to the end of 2024, coupled with potential legislative proposals.

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