The European Commission published the latest review of how well EU waste rules are applied across Europe, presenting challenges and ways forward. Despite continuous progress in Member States and an overall good performance at EU level, there are serious gaps that must be swiftly addressed if Europe is to reap the environmental and economic benefits of the circular economy. 14 European countries that are lagging behind are presented with early warning reports, including possible actions to improve their waste management.
The report gives an overview of progress and implementation challenges for several waste streams, including municipal waste, construction and demolition waste, hazardous waste, waste electrical and electronic equipment, packaging waste, and suggests areas for improvement for each of them.
For municipal waste, 14 Member States have been identified as at risk of missing the 2020 target of 50% recycling: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. For these countries the Commission presents blueprints for action to ensure compliance with EU waste legislation. These actions include more effective separate collection to ensure high quality recycling, efficient Extended Producer Responsibility schemes, economic instruments such as landfill and incineration taxes, and improved data quality.
In a follow-up to this report, the Commission will undertake high-level circular economy visits to the Member States at risk of not meeting the 2020 municipal waste targets, to discuss the opportunities and challenges with the national, regional and local authorities and the relevant stakeholders, including businesses.
Read the full press release.