As in other areas related to sustainability the EU is leading the world in the management of waste.
Environmental Management news reports that the European Parliament has voted on two waste directives. The EU Waste Directive aims to set binding targets for waste prevention for the first time, while the ‘Thematic Strategy on the Prevention and Recycling of Waste’ focuses on the long-term EU waste strategy.
The report by British Conservative MP Caroline Jackson on the proposed waste directive calls for binding targets to stabilise waste production at anticipated 2008 levels by 2012. It also calls for greater reuse and recycling to reduce pressure on landfill sites.One of the measures strongly supported by the Jackson report is the ‘five step’ hierarchy of waste treatment, with prevention most desirable, followed by reuse, recycling, energy recovery (including incineration) and landfill as a last resort. It rejects the European Commission’s earlier proposal to reclassify incineration from “disposal” to “recovery” based on energy production.
The second report, from Johannes Blokland of the Independence and Democracy Group, seeks a ‘thematic strategy’ to deal with the problem.
His report calls for a total ban on all landfill waste by 2020 and asks the European Commission to propose ways of reducing waste and to develop measures to judge progress.