About: Waste and recycling

Circular economy 03-10-2018

How the EU’s Cohesion Fund can support the circular economy

The EU’s next Cohesion Fund for regional development should prioritise investments into waste management systems focused on prevention, re-use, separate collection and recycling – not on incineration, argues Janek Vahk.
Circular economy 27-09-2018

Half of Europe not on track with waste recycling

Fourteen EU member states have to step up efforts to reach the target of recycling 50% of municipal waste in 2020 - an objective set by the framework directive in 2008. EURACTIV France’s media partner, the Journal de l’environnement, reports.

Is recycled plastic safe for food packaging? EU seems to think so

The European Commission is preparing to fast-track approval of 140 recycling processes for use in food and drinks packaging, despite warnings that second-hand plastics risk containing toxic chemicals that are dangerous for human health.

Food safety activist: ‘There will always be a risk’ with recycled plastics

The risk of toxic substances contaminating food already exists with virgin plastic, so it will only be higher with recycled packaging coming from old plastics that may contain banned chemicals, says Floriana Cimmarusti.

Make use of recycled plastic mandatory, EU told

Europe's market for recycled plastics will never pick up unless regulators make a decisive move and impose a minimum amount of recycled materials into new products, said a wide coalition of businesses, local authorities and environmental NGOs.
Circular economy 03-07-2018

Thailand: The rich world’s new dumpsite for e-waste

Thailand has become one of the largest dumpsites for electronic waste from developed countries since China’s January ban on the import of plastic waste. EURACTIV’s partner Le Journal de l’environnement reports.

EU’s proposed tax on burning plastic waste is counter-productive

The CO2 emissions reductions achieved by plastic recycling is very costly when compared to alternatives like wind energy and solar PV, while much energy can be extracted from burning plastic waste, argue Raymond Gradus and Henriëtte Prast.

Packaging industry calls for policy reform to boost plastics recycling

A host of UK packaging organisations have called for more recycling collection points, tax reliefs for recycled content and a universal list of acceptable materials as part of a desired regulation reform to make it easier for consumers to recycle packaging waste. EURACTIV's media partner edie.net reports.
Air Quality 14-05-2018

EU environment official: Clean air infringement proceedings are ‘a political decision’

The European Commission’s analysis of clean air measures adopted at national level are at a “very advanced stage”, said Daniel Calleja Y Crespo, who recently came to Slovakia for the Clean Air Dialogue.
Energy 08-05-2018

EU warms up to plastic waste ‘recycling’ as transport fuel

A proposal to use non-recyclable plastic waste in the production of transport fuels is picking momentum among EU member states and legislators in the European Parliament, despite warnings from environmentalists.
Energy 04-05-2018

Worries mount over waste incineration as ‘renewable energy’

A coalition of green NGOs and industries in the business of recycling, chemicals, forestry and the bio-based economy wrote to policymakers on Thursday (3 May), urging them to prevent incineration of unrecyclable waste from being counted as renewable energy.
Circular economy 25-04-2018

Time for an eco-design revolution on carpets and mattresses

A lot more must be done to incentivise everyday product recyclability, writes Ward Mosmuller. Bulky products that are not recycled today – like carpets, mattresses and furniture – would be a good place to start, he argues.
Circular economy 18-04-2018

Europeans will have to recycle half of their waste by 2025

European households and businesses will have to recycle at least 55% of their municipal waste by 2025, according to stricter new rules passed by the European Parliament on Wednesday (18 April).
Energy 09-04-2018

Renewables law could lock EU into costly burning technologies

The EU Council’s position on the recast Renewable Energy Directive (REDII), if adopted, could lock EU member states into expensive and polluting waste-to-energy technologies that contradict the circular economy and climate objectives, writes Janek Vahk.

Safety first: Food packers shun recycled plastics, for now

Tetra Pak, the iconic Swedish maker of beverage cartons, is currently staying away from using recycled plastics in the inside lining of its packages – the most sensitive bit that comes in contact with drinks. But this could all change under EU proposals due this year.
Circular economy 01-03-2018

EU official: ‘Growing consensus’ for fresh plastic recycling laws

The European Commission is looking at targets for recycled plastics into new products as a way to boost demand for secondary raw materials, according to a senior EU official involved in drafting upcoming laws on recycling.
Circular economy 01-03-2018

Closing loops for a circular economy

After marathon talks, negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states reached agreement last December on a package of waste legislation, which sets new targets for recycling. But although the ink has not yet dried on the deal, the European Commission is already preparing a revision of the laws.
Circular economy 15-02-2018

France pushes for product ‘lifetime’ labelling

In a first draft roadmap on circular economy, the French government is thinking about supporting a voluntary product “life” label. But such an idea could only become mandatory at European level. EURACTIV.fr reports.
Circular economy 06-02-2018

Circular economy? Not without the internal market!

Without oversight, the implementation of the circular economy package entails a huge risk of Member States going into different directions and introducing barriers to the internal market, warns Virginia Janssens.
Circular economy 05-02-2018

Packaging and the environment

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European countries are preparing to implement a brand new set of waste and recycling laws, following the conclusion of negotiations on the circular economy package in December. But there is more ahead, with the Plastics Strategy unveiled by the European Commission only one month later.
Circular economy 11-01-2018

Why the EU’s renewable energy proposal subverts the circular economy

To date, the Renewable Energy Directive has been a key obstacle to achieving waste policy objectives. If the EU is serious about the transition towards a circular economy, it is crucial that incentive schemes for renewables encourage separate collection and recycling, writes Janek Vahk.
Circular economy 21-11-2017

Microplastics, macro problems

Tackling the visible impact of plastic pollution is one thing. But if we’re serious about finding a long-term solution, revealing the invisible impact is imperative, writes the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jocelyn Blériot, calling for a ban on oxo-degradable plastics that are still widely used in carrier bags.
Circular economy 02-11-2017

China is no longer the EU’s plastic dumping ground: What’s next?

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? With EU production of plastic waste showing no sign of slowing down and China – the world’s biggest importer of plastic waste – set to ban imports, we’re about to find out, argues Meadhbh Bolger.    
Circular economy 25-10-2017

Recyclers claim EU carbon quotas from saved energy, CO2 emissions

French recyclers were in Brussels last week with a big ask – EU regulators must reward the whole recycling value chain for preventing emissions of global warming gases, they claimed, a message received with caution by the European Commission, which points to a lack of data.