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Germany wants to scrap EU recycling targets

September 16, 2016

Germany wants to scrap EU recycling targets

By James Crisp | EurActiv.com

EXCLUSIVE / Germany, the EU’s most influential country and its leading recycler, has called for recycling targets in the European Commission’s Circular Economy package of green laws to be scrapped.

The executive wants to increase recycling rates of municipal waste across the EU to 60% by 2025, rising to 65% in 2030, as it tries to create an economy where as little as possible is wasted in a world with finite resources.

But, according to a document circulated among diplomats’ working groups and obtained by EurActiv.com, Germany wants to bin any recycling targets for at least three years.

Campaigners warned that if new targets were put forward 36 months after the package enters into force, they could be lower. Voluntary measures had failed in the past, they said, and any new targets would need a new bill, meaning a lengthy legislative process would start all over again.

Germany is Europe’s top recycler, according to Eurostat, and has already hit the 2030 target. But recycling rates vary widely across the EU.

Sources said that Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria support Berlin’s idea, while the UK, Italy, Finland and Greece, are open to considering it. That could not be independently confirmed.

There are fears Germany’s stance will have a chilling effect across other rules in the draft package of six bills on landfill, waste, packaging, end of life vehicles, batteries and accumulators, and waste electronic equipment.

Landfill reduction targets, for example, are controversial, facing opposition from some Eastern European member states.

Stephane Arditi, of the European Environmental Bureau said, “If it is confirmed that Germany is calling for no targets at all, then this would be a major mistake, depriving industry and the economy of the legal driver they need and sending a bad signal to other EU member states that are not at Germany’s level in terms of waste management.”

“Higher targets aren’t only an environmental need, but will certainly help bring a circular economy, meaning jobs and environmental protection,” said Ferran Rosa, of NGO Zero Waste Europe.

Read more at EurActiv.com.

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