European Parliament unveils draft waste report

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has released a draft report suggesting amendments to the Waste Framework Directive proposals set out in the Circular Economy Package (CEP) last year. 

The European Parliament rapporteur for the EU Circular Economy Package, Italian MEP Simona Bonafè, wrote the report for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, which will now be sent to MEPs to table further amendments, before going to a vote, expected to be held in November. There will then be a vote in the full Parliament expected early in 2017.

Once the European Parliament has sealed its position, the package will go to trilogues involving the European Council, Parliament, and Commission to finalise the European position.

Bonafè wants mandatory separate collection of paper, metal, plastic and glass, clarifying the Commission’s legal text to help ensure high quality recovery of useful materials. This has been extended to other waste streams, such as wood, textile and biowaste. Bonafe has extended a ban on the landfilling of separated waste to prevent this ending up in an incinerator.

The report also sets out a desired target of ‘at least’ 65% of biowaste to be recycled by 2025. The report says that such a target is necessary ‘to attract infrastructure investments towards recycling facilities for bio-waste and to boost markets for compost and digestate’.

In addition, it proposes making separate bio-waste collection obligatory by removing the original condition that such systems only be set out ‘where technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP) and appropriate’.

Bonafè has extended the call for separate collections to include wood and textiles in order to increase preparing for reuse and recycling rates in member states. Separately collected waste, the report adds, should be subject to a ban on incineration.

Bonafè’s report also proposes that member states should encourage the setting up of conventions enabling the food retail sector to distribute unsold products to charitable organisations, while the EC should present guidelines for food for donation including on fiscal and technical aspects.

The EU has committed to complying with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030, and Bonafè says that to achieve that goal, member states should include an objective that is at least equivalent to this in their national waste prevention programmes.

New global food waste standard

Elsewhere, a new global standard for measuring food loss and waste will help countries and companies step up efforts to store, transport and consume food more efficiently, its backers recently announced.

Around one third of all food, by weight, is spoiled or thrown away worldwide as it moves from where it is produced to where it is eaten, costing globally up to $940 billion per year, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has estimated.

The standard is the first set of international definitions and reporting requirements for businesses, governments and other organisations to measure and manage food loss and waste, with the aim of reducing it, its creators said.

The effort hopes to channel more food to the roughly 800 million people who are undernourished around the world, and cut emissions from the production of uneaten food, which account for about 8% of the total contributing to climate change.

The group behind the standard include organisations such as the Waste and Resources Action Programme, the UNEP and the World Resources Institute.



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