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EU circular economy package to demand separate food collections

  • 2015. november 01. 01:00
  • Csilla
The European Commission is set to include mandatory separate food collections in its upcoming circular economy package, a leaked draft directive suggests.

MRW has seen two documents, one covering the proposed waste directive and one for packaging - both of which are expected to be unveiled on 2 December.

There is a boost for the UK’s hope of reaching its recycling targets as the draft suggests incinerator bottom ash (IBA) could count towards member states’ figures.

As with the recently leaked action plan, the specific targets for municipal recycling and reuse are undecided, as is whether or not to introduce a landfill ban by 2030.

Sources in Brussels have told MRW that the package is likely to be delayed to mid-January due to “complex issues” like Ecodesign, although a Commission environment spokesperson insisted the proposals would be presented this year.

Current regulations stipulate that countries must provide separate collections for plastics, paper, metal and glass where technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP).

An amendment in the leaked document, dated November, adds food to that list, saying: “Member states shall ensure the separate collection of bio-waste where TEEP and appropriate to ensure the relevant quality standards for compost.”

The Commission also appears to propose removing regulations for small and medium-sized business, a measure backed by Defra on 11 November.

It reads: “Member states may exempt establishments or undertakings collecting or transporting quantities of non-hazardous waste not exceeding [20 tonnes] annually from the registration requirements.”

The figure in brackets indicates it is still being finalised, MRW understands.

Elsewhere, the document says more generally that the Commission’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) reforms should aim to “avoid obstacles to the functioning of the internal market”.

The UK waste and resources industry has been lobbying against deregulation. By contrast, Defra has urged the ECl to cutregulation. In response Chartered Institution for Wastes Management chief executive Steve Lee said“relying on the market will not be enough and demand-side measures will be essential”.

The leaked document also instructs member states to put in place incineration charges and pay as you throw schemes to support application of the waste hierarchy.

There are also suggestions that members states may get a boost in hitting higher recycling rates by including IBA in their figures.

It reads: “Member states may take into account the recycling of metals that takes place in the course of incineration or certain industrial processes.”