The European Union has published the Circular Economy Package in its Official Journal, which means the legislation will enter into force next month.
The legislation was signed on Thursday (June 14) which means the requirements officially come into force 20 days after, which means the package will be binding from July 4 2018.
This follows on from the EU Council’s decision in May this year to formally adopt the package, which means that member states will have to meet recycling targets for municipal waste of 55% by 2025 and 65% by 2035 ( see letsrecycle.com story).
This compares to a target of 50% by 2020 that the UK government and local authorities are currently working to.
The Official Journal of the European Union is the official gazette of the Union. It is published every working day and contains all EU legislation including regulations, directives and decisions.
Once any law is published in the official journal it comes into force 20 days later, this occurs after legislation is adopted through the European Parliament and Council.
The UK government has signalled that the Circular Economy measures will be adopted within UK legislation at a later date, even after the UK leaves the EU.
In a statement, the EU Council (which includes the UK) said, as part of the new rules, member states will set up, by 1 January 2025, separate collections of textiles and hazardous waste from households. In addition, they will ensure that by 31 December 2023, bio-waste is either collected separately or recycled at source.
This is in addition to the separate collection which already exists for paper and cardboard, glass, metals and plastic.
Extended producer responsibility
The EU Waste legislative package also outlines a range of measures with regards to extended producer responsibility.
The package outlined measures for greater transparency on financial matters and the need for shared responsibility.
The journal read: “The general minimum requirements should reduce costs and boost performance, as well as ensure a level playing field and avoid obstacles to the smooth functioning of the internal market.”
It continued: “Overall, those requirements should improve the governance and transparency of extended producer responsibility schemes and reduce the possibility of conflicts of interest emerging between organisations implementing extended producer responsibility obligations on behalf of producers of products and waste operators that those organisations contract. They should also not restrict those services in terms of geographical, product and material coverage to the areas where the collection and management of waste are the most profitable.”