An important package of proposed measures from the European Commission is being unveiled in December which will set the pace for environmental and recycling measures in Europe over the coming years.
It will still need to be discussed by EU Member States but will give increased recycling targets for municipalities and also encourage the better use of resources by businesses.
The proposals will also look to include measures to encourage Member States to ensure that pricing of waste treatment operations are in line with the waste hierarchy as a means of reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill or energy recovery.
While exact details of how this proposal will be borne out in the final package are not clear, it is expected that financial levers such as landfill taxes will be favoured, while deposit return schemes may also feature.
But, it is understood that the Commission is not keen to prescribe the exact measures that Member States should take to push waste up the waste hierarchy, and action in this area will be up to individual governments – with guidance on best practice across the continent likely.