Europe – Only 45% of product waste by weight in Europe’s municipal solid waste is currently covered by producer responsibility schemes, a new study commissioned by Zero Waste Europe has indicated. Given that this is far short of the EU’s 70% objective, researchers argue the system should be ‘redesigned’ to achieve a circular economy.
Despite ongoing efforts to foster a recycling culture, ‘less than 18% of product waste is collected separately through an EPR (extended producer responsibility) scheme’, it is suggested. Forbidding incineration of any waste collected through an EPR scheme is hailed as a good starting point for progress.
The study assessed waste production in 15 European cities, covering 33 million inhabitants or 6.5% of the EU population. To be released in full this September, it will offer several recommendations to the European Commission, such as calling for a broader definition of and a more comprehensive approach to EPR – including the use of economic instruments.