European Commission Release response to Circular Economy Consultation:
The European Commission has released today their initial response to the circular economy consultation. The circular economy package focusses on reducing waste across the whole of the supply chain and maintaining economic value in these materials.
The Commission has stated that a maximum of 10% of all waste produced can be landfilled by 2030. The minimum proportion of municipal and packaging waste which must be recycled has also been modified to 65% and 70% respectively by 2030. The Commission aims to achieve these figures by establishing targets on waste separation and have inferred that this could include compulsory separation of municipal waste.
The NFU anticipates that this package could boost the circular economy and bio economy. In particular the circular economy package looks to reduce waste going to landfill or incineration, facilitating the growth in industries such as anaerobic digestion, biogas and composting.
We look to Europe and the UK Government to ensure that new regulation facilitates rather than hinders the development of these industries. The Commission made reference to considering products as ‘secondary raw materials’ rather than wastes and also discussed the need for standard setting and self-regulation rather than the increase in policy in controlling waste
The Commission also stated that they will review whether waste and organic materials need to be added into the fertiliser regulations. This will provide greater reassurances in the quality of materials used within the bio-economy; however it is important that these rules do not undermine pre-existing and highly regarded industry-initiated standards.
The NFU is working with other industry stakeholders such as the Renewable Energy Association to ensure the Circular Economy package is used by the UK Government to boost the bio-economy.