The European Commission adopts proposal for future waste and recycling targets

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The European Commission has formally adopted proposals for the future of waste and recycling targets within Europe, as part of measures towards achieving a circular economy.

A key proposal is for an increased target for Member States to recycle or reuse 70% of municipal waste by 2030, an increase on the current 50% by 2020 target.

The Commission is also proposing a ban on sending recyclable materials such as plastics, paper, metals, glass and biodegradable waste to landfill by 2025, as well as phasing out landfilling of waste by 2030. Having been adopted by the European Commission on 2nd July, the proposals will pass to the European Council of Ministers and the European Parliament for consideration by politicians. Other proposals that have been put forward by the Commission include an 80% by 2030 reuse and recycling target for packaging waste, which includes material specific targets that will gradually increase from 2020. These will see ambitions set for 90% of paper and cardboard to be recovered by the end of 2025, 60% of plastic packaging, 80% for wood and 90% for ferrous metal, aluminium and glass by the end of 2030. Measures to encourage a 30% reduction in the amount of food waste generated by Member States by 2025 are also set to be considered, while the Commission is proposing to put in place an early warning system to anticipate difficulties of Member States to achieve targets. The Commission is also keen to encourage greater sharing of best practice between Member States, including better use of economic instruments to encourage recycling include pay-as-you-throw schemes, incentives, as well as taxes on landfill and incineration.