MEPs voted for Mandatory Separate Collection of Bio-waste


Today, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI) has voted on the legislative proposals of the Circular Economy Package. With the vote on the waste proposal the ENVI sets a clear signal towards high quality recycling. Including a definition of organic recycling and the obligation for separate collection of bio-waste will lead to better and sustainable bio-waste management in Europe.

The ENVI Committee has agreed to the following:

  • Removal of the conditionalities ‘technically, environmentally and economically practicable’ with regards to separate collection (including that of bio-waste), except for sparsely populated areas following approval by the Commission for this exception.
  • Separately collected waste may not be offered to and used in incineration plants.
  • An overall recycling rate of 60% of municipal waste by 2025, to be increased to 70% by 2030.
  • Inclusion of a list of instruments Member States may use to maximise the uptake of secondary materials, which includes technical and fiscal measures to support the development of markets for re-used products and recycled (included composted) materials. In general, Member States shall make use of both regulatory ad economic instruments in order to incentivise the uptake of secondary raw materials.
  • Inclusion of a request to the Commission to consider setting recycling targets for commercial and industrial waste similar to those set for municipal waste. The Commission has to send a report on this by 31 December 2018.
  • Inclusion of a request for the European standardisation organisations to develop quality standards for waste going into the final recycling process.
  • The Commission must (by the end of 2018) propose an amendment to the relevant regulation to introduce European waste codes for separately collected bio-waste.
  • An inclusion demanding MS to encourage home-composting.
  • Inclusion of a definition on commercial & industrial waste.
  • Inclusion of a definition on bio-waste which includes ‘waste with similar biodegradability and compostability properties’ and excluding the criteria ‘quantity’.
  • Inclusion of a definition on organic recycling, which excludes mechanical biological treatment and landfill as being considered organic recycling.
  • Member States must use traceability and quality assurance schemes to ensure that the output of organic recycling meets relevant high quality standards.
  • Inclusion of a definition on food waste, food waste hierarchy and a non-binding food waste reduction target in line with international agreements.

The final vote in the EP Plenary will take place in March. The discussion on the waste proposal in the EU Council is still going on and we hope that the Member States and the Commission will follow this positive direction of the ENVI Committee.