Norms and regulations

EU, the Parliament counts on recycling to revive the European economy

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Strasbourg requests new norms to reduce waste and promote recycling: 1% of the European GDP and 2 million jobs depend on this.

Recycle more to get out of the crisis: this is Strasbourg’s new imperative. On the 9th of July, the European Parliament approved a resolution to ask the EU Commission to work out a set of measures to systematically transform waste into resources, by the end of 2015.

By 2030, Europe will be asked to increase the efficiency of its production cycle by 30%, pursuing a series of ambitious goals in the field of waste reduction, revamping, and norms that separate economic growth from the exploitation of resources. Such efforts, so the resolution reads, “could boost the GDP by nearly 1% and create 2 million additional sustainable jobs”.

No more landfill or incineration for materials that could be recycled, with the application of obligatory waste sorting systems and the introduction of bioeconomy as an essential part of the circular economy. These were the requests of the European Parliamentarians, who also aim at redefining the criteria of reparability, reusability and recyclability of products, and adopting measures to eliminate planned obsolescence.

“This is a paradigm shift as well as a huge business opportunity – declared the Finn Sirpa Pietikäinen, the promoter of this resolution – “But to make this happen, we need precise actions. First, we need a set of indicators and targets. We need a review of existing legislation. We need a broadening of the scope of the eco design directive, a renewal of the waste directive and a special focus on sustainable buildings.”

The response of sector companies was positive, while the UK seemed less enthusiastic, proposing to soften the circular economy programs: instead of binding recycling targets, voluntary targets with a lighter impact on the industry were suggested.

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