Map highlights CE package leaders and laggards

A map showing each EU member states’ position on the Circular Economy package has been released, with the UK among a number being criticised for a ‘lack of transparency’.

Ahead of negotiations on the CE package legislative proposals this summer, a group of NGOs, led by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Friends of the Earth Europe and Zero Waste Europe, asked each EU member state whether they would support proposals to raise the Europe-wide recycling target for municipal solid waste to 70 per cent, to introduce a reuse target, and to improve measures on separate collection, producer responsibility and waste reduction. 

The map, which is published on the EEB website, shows the 27 European Union Member States and their position on the CE package, along with their current recycling rate and waste generation figures.

MEPs voted in March in favour of the raft of proposed measures to update legislation around waste and recycling as part of the CE package, but a number of countries, including the UK, have refused to publicly back the increased recycling targets and measures that are due to be debated in the European Council in the coming weeks.

The survey has revealed that Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania and Latvia are set to reject the proposals, while others, including Italy, Sweden, Portugal and the Czech Republic, are thought to oppose plans to make preparation for reuse mandatory and to set new waste prevention targets.

Alongside, Poland, Ireland, Slovenia, and Croatia, the UK would not share their position, which the EEB says highlights ‘a long-standing transparency problem during negotiations between member states’ and while it recognises that a lack of transparency does not mean opposition to the negotiations, it believes that it is ‘at odds with the progressive and transparent stance adopted by the European Parliament’.

The EEB highlights Greece, Romania and Spain as the ‘leaders’ in calling for stronger support on the measures favoured by the European Parliament, with France, Belgium and the Netherlands also labelled as ‘progressive countries’.

Commenting on the investigation, Piotr Barczak, Waste Policy Officer at the EEB, said: “We hear every day that governments are committed to reducing waste in order to reap the benefits of the circular economy. But what happens in the negotiations, behind closed doors, is sometimes a completely different story.

“Without higher targets for recycling and binding measures for prevention, which would inject confidence into the market, governments will struggle to find the investment opportunities necessary to trigger the transition to a circular economy. Providing long term ambition and binding requirements is what drives change.”

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