(EUROPE)

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have backed ambitious proposals calling for higher rates of recycling and a reduction in waste sent to landfill.

The draft legislation supports a target of recycling 70% of waste by 2030, up from 44% today. MEPs also want to reduce landfilling to 5%, and slash food waste by 50%.

Reacting to the news,  Sylvain Lhôte, Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) Director General, said: “Today, the European Parliament has fully grasped the opportunity to make the Circular Economy work for Europe by enabling industry and local authorities to better target where investment needs to take place.”

MEP Simona Bonafè added: “Today, Parliament by a very large majority has showed that it believes in the transition towards a circular economy. We decided to restore the ambitious recycling and landfill targets in line with what the Commission had originally proposed in 2014.

“Demand for raw materials by the world economy could increase by a further 50% in the next 15 years. In order to reverse this trend, we must adopt a circular development model which keeps materials and their value in circulation, the only solution able to keep together sustainability with economic growth.

“Re-use, recycling and recovery are becoming the key words around which a new paradigm needs to be built to promote sustainability, innovation and competitiveness, so that waste will cease to be a problem and become a resource.”

Parliament will now negotiate with Council of Ministers.