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Majority In Favour Of High EU Recycling Rates

In a consultation on the changes to the EU’s waste and recycling targets, more than three quarters were found in favour of raising the targets above their existing levels, according to environmental consultants’ Eunomia.

What Does The Future Hold For Recycling Management

Bristol based Eunomia ran a consultation on EU waste and recycling targets from June to September 2013. Stakeholders were asked to give their views on the future of these targets for household and commercial waste in the UK.

In the response summary published on January 7th, it was found that a total of 84% of the respondents agreed that the European Commission should increase or expand on existing recycling targets. Currently, under the Waste Framework Directive, Member States are required to recycle or reuse 50% of waste by 2020. This is despite opposition from the waste management industry trade body, Environmental Services Association, arguing against the altering of targets.

Respondents to the Waste Targets Review were also asked to look at the highest achievable levels for Member States. For commercial waste a target of 75% was proposed, and for construction and demolition waste, 80%. Those in favour of waste prevention targets were asked which waste steams should be targeted, suggesting the following ten in order of preference:

  • Hazardous Waste
  • ‘Total Waste’
  • Food
  • Packaging
  • Industrial Waste
  • Biowastes
  • Plastics
  • Residual Waste
  • Metals
  • WEEE

EU Proposes Changes To Recycling Streams

By 2024, the EU has proposed to raise targets on all recycling steams. Increasing targets for different packing materials to between 60% and 80%, this will call for a substantial change in the way recycling is managed. Below are the average achievable recycling rates reported by stakeholders and the current EU targets.


Paper and cardboard
Proposed Rate
Current Target
Achieve by (year)


The Eunomia consultation which produced these figures is the first part of a contract with the European Commission on ‘Technological, Socio-Economic and Cost-Benefit Assessments Related to the Implementation and Further Development of EU Waste Legislation’. Responses will therefore establish a number of preferred options which are subject to detailed analysis. This is due to be complete by spring 2014.

Recycling Management With Recycling Services

Stay on top of your recycling management with zero waste solutions from Recycling Services. We can help you work towards the current and/or proposed EU recycling rates, further reducing waste and decreasing landfill use.

For more information on our recycling management solutions, call our team on 01952 204471 or email

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