Urges member states to follow Parliaments example and to establish 70% recycling targets for businesses

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and Friends of the Earth Europe have welcomed the European Parliament’s Environment Committee vote reasserting the need for EU-level targets on waste prevention and recycling.

Voting on the Waste Framework Directive, a majority favoured targets for Member States to stabilise waste generation by 2012 and to establish EU-wide recycling targets of 70% for business wastes by 2020.

Nathalie Cliquot, EEB’s waste policy officer, said: ‘We’re thrilled to see positive results from our long campaign to attain strong but achievable targets on waste prevention and recycling. EU-level targets will give a true sense of direction to all Member States, and create drivers for investments in resource efficient systems.’

It is now up to Member States in Council of Ministers discussions to accept the Committee’s position if they want to achieve an early agreement on the Directive by June.

A study prepared for EEB and Friends of the Earth Europe showed that the 50% target for recycling household and similar wastes by 2020 could save emissions equivalent to more than 89 million tonnes of CO2 per year, the same as taking 31 million cars off the road.

Michael Warhurst of Friends of the Earth Europe said: ‘The climate and resource efficiency benefits of these recycling and prevention targets are substantial – it is now time for EU Member States to accept their importance so that they can become law.’

The Committee also approved the re-branding of certain municipal waste incinerators as ‘recovery.’

Michael Warhurst said: ‘This re-branding of slightly less inefficient incinerators as recovery is misguided and counter-productive, and we would expect that any future review of this measure will result in its deletion.’