EU Parliament completes first reading of the waste package

Rapporteur Simona Bonafè © European Union, 2017
14.03.2017 − 

The European Parliament voted to approve the EU Commission's proposals amending EU waste legislation along with numerous amendments in its first reading on Tuesday afternoon. "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," said rapporteur Simona Bonafè.

The Italian MEP was given a mandate by the plenary to enter interinstitutional negotiations with the Council and the Commission. The goal of the "trilogue" talks will be to achieve a compromise between the positions of the Parliament and the Council which can be accepted by both EU bodies and finally adopted. However, the EU member states have not yet reached agreement on their common position.

The final plenary vote on the Waste Framework Directive (© European Union, 2017 – EP)

Change in the municipal waste definition

The amendments to the circular economy package adopted by the Parliament involve the quantity criterion in the definition of municipal waste. The EU Commission had proposed including "mixed waste and separately collected waste from other sources that is comparable to household waste in nature, composition and quantity" under the definition.

The Parliament voted with a narrow majority to replace this provision with a clause adding “mixed waste and separately collected waste from small businesses, office buildings and institutions including schools, hospitals, and government buildings that is similar to household waste in nature and composition” to the scope of the municipal waste definition while omitting the quantity criterion.

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