Circular Economy: new EU regulation

More ambitious targets and fixed deadlines in the new European Union legislation about the circular economy that has been approved the last 18th April by the European Union Parliament, with the purpose of boosting recycling and cutting landfilling. To enter into force, it needs now the EU Council approval.

This package sets out binding targets at European level for recycling: for what concerns the share of municipal waste (from households and businesses) it will rise to 55% by 2025, from 44% of today and then it will increase again to 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035.

By the last mentioned deadline, only the 10% of municipal waste would be deposited in a landfill. By 2030, each EU Member State should try to ensure that all waste suitable for recycling is not admitted to a discharge.

The circular economy regulation also establish EU common targets for packaging waste recycling: the 60% of packaging materials will have to be recycled by 2025 and 70% by 2030.

There would be separate targets for specific packaging materials, such as plastics (50% by 2025 and 55 by 2030), wood (25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030), ferrous metals (70% by 2025 and 80% by 2030), aluminium (50% by 2025 and 60% by 2030), glass (70% by 2025 and 75% by 2030), paper and cardboard (75% by 2025 and 80% by 2030).

Through this legislative act is introduced in Europe also the fight against food waste, with a double benefit. For the environment, with a severe cut of the share of food in the rubbish and for the poor people, that could receive a lot of the produced food surplus.

The Italian project “Help Network” implemented by the Istituto per la Famiglia Albano Ariccia Onlus (IPF), one of the most active NDSAN members, carries on these issues in the Metropolitan Area of Rome with partners, co-founded by Lazio Region.

IPF and all its relevant Italian partnership are carrying on a new project, “NetFood – Networking for Food Challenge”, co-founded by the Italian Forestry and Environment Ministry (MIPAAF). The project aims at the creation of a platform to recovery and distribute food surplus among people living in disadvantaged conditions and needing support.

These measures are aimed at improving waste management: although there has been a significant increase in the last decades, in the EU a third of municipal waste still goes to the dumps, and less than half is recycled or composted.

Promoting the right ways of disposing and treating waste would better at the same time climate, environment, human health and economy too, with extraordinary impacts on everyone’s life.