EU warns of failure to achieve circular economy targets

The European Commission in a report published on 08 June 2023 lists the Member States at risk of not meeting the preparation for reuse and recycling targets for municipal and all packaging waste for 2025 and the landfill target for 2035. Nine Member States are on track to meet 2025 targets: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Slovenia.

However, 18 Member States are at risk of missing one or both of the 2025 targets. Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Portugal, Spain and Sweden are at risk of missing the municipal waste target . Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia are at risk of missing both municipal and total packaging waste targets for 2025. 

The early warning report for our country also includes the following recommendations: 

  •  Support preparing for re-use of municipal waste and re-use systems for packaging. 
  • Extend separate waste collection to all parts of the population, especially for bio-waste, and improve citizen awareness of waste segregation and prevention.
  • Implement economic instruments such as Pay-as-you-throw and increase landfill tax to incentivise separate collection at source and minimise landfilled waste. 
  • Further develop waste treatment infrastructure, in particular increasing treatment capacity for bio-waste and supporting home composting and establish a quality management system for compost/digestate from bio-waste. 
  •  Improve data management systems to present coherent and verifiable data sets, especially for packaging waste 
      The Commission will continue to support Member States in the implementation of EU waste legislation through support from EU funds, technical assistance (for example through the Environmental Implementation Review,exchange of best practice, and promotion of learning peer). However, national authorities are responsible for intensifying policy efforts and speeding up action on the ground. 

Our country is lagging towards the goals set a few years ago, without considering the new more ambitious goals included in the proposal for a regulation on packaging and packaging waste submitted on 31/11/2023. (PPWR – packaging and packaging waste regulation). International experience shows that when essential commitments towards a more circular economy fail to be achieved, the Article 4 window opens with the additional introduction of national requirements that will further restrict the availability of packaging materials on the domestic market. 

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