Environmental Protection

European Commission Proposes Higher Recycling Targets

EU countries would ban burying recyclable waste in landfills after 2025 and recycle 70 percent of municipal waste and 80 percent of packaging by 2030.

The European Commission this month proposed higher recycling targets, with officials saying this will help to transform Europe's economy and support sustainable growth. Under the new targets, European countries would ban the burying of recyclable waste in landfills after 2025, recycle 70 percent of municipal waste and 80 percent of packaging by 2030, and reduce marine litter and food waste.

The changes will create 580,000 new jobs in waste management, will result in reduced CO2 emissions, will benefit the environment, and will help to transition from a linear economy to a more circular economy, commission officials said.

In 2010, 400 to 500 million tonnes of waste that could have been reused or recycled were landfilled or incinerated in Europe, according to a commission release. It said the move toward a circular economy can be driven by designing products that are easier to repair, upgrade, and recycle, and also by reducing the use of materials that are hazardous or difficult to recycle and providing incentives to reduce waste.

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