Monday, July 22, 2024
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Most CEE countries at risk of missing waste targets

The European Commission has identified Member States at risk of not meeting the waste, recycling and landfilling targets. Nine Member States are on track to meet the 2025 targets for re-use and recycling, including Czechia and Slovenia. In particular, the targets are those set out in the Waste Framework Directive and the Directive on packaging and packaging waste: 55 per cent recycling and preparing for reuse of municipal waste; 65 per cent recycling for total packaging waste; and material-specific packaging waste recycling targets (75 per cent for paper and cardboard, 70 per cent for glass, 70 per cent for ferrous metals packaging, 50 per cent for aluminium, 50 per cent for plastic and 25 per cent for wood).

However, 18 Member States are at risk of missing one or both of the 2025 targets. Estonia, and Latvia are at risk of missing the municipal waste target. Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia are at risk of missing both the targets for municipal and overall packaging waste for 2025. Some countries also continue to landfill most of their municipal waste and will probably fail to meet the 2035 landfilling target.

“Implementing waste reduction and recycling measures on the ground is key for our circular economy transition,” said Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. “Turning waste into resources helps us on the way to climate neutrality, increases the security of supply of energy and raw materials and creates local jobs and innovation opportunities. The early warning report allows us, in close cooperation with the Member States, to detect shortcomings, take action ahead of the deadlines for meeting the targets and share best practices in sound waste management.”

The Commission has therefore presented recommendations to these Member States, building on continuous financial and technical support provided for improving performance on waste management.

These recommendations cover a broad range of actions: reducing non-recyclable waste, increasing reuse, boosting separate collection, developing waste treatment capacities for sorting and recycling, improving governance, deploying economic instruments and awareness-raising.

The Commission will continue to support Member States to implement EU waste legislation, through the support of EU funds and technical assistance (for example through the Environmental Implementation Review, exchange of best practices and promoting peer-to-peer learning). However, national authorities are responsible for intensifying policy efforts and stepping up action on the ground.

Furthermore, the Commission has presented initiatives that contribute to a more circular economy and will support Member States in improving performance in waste management and reaching the targets, such as the proposals for new regulations on Waste shipments, Packaging and packing waste and on Ecodesign for sustainable products.

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