Early indications from Brussels show the circular economy package of laws will focus heavily on landfill reduction when details are released later this year.
The latest incarnation of the package – which replaces proposals put forward by former environment commissioner Janez Potocnik in 2014 – will also push for more energy recovery, signalling less emphasis on recycling.
The Commission previously floated a recycling target of 70% by 2030 in last year’s package, which was branded unrealistic by some EU member states.
Landfill targets in contrast are favoured because the disposal method is thought to be hampering the development of recycling in some EU countries.
The proposals, currently under preparation, are due to be unveiled by the Commission before Christmas 2015.
So far, on the new package, the Commission has officially said: “The new strategy will include a new legislative proposal on waste targets, taking into account the input already given to us during public consultations, and by Council and in Parliament, in particular the comments made by many that the previous proposals needed to be more country-specific.”
The first package, set out by Mr Potocnik in July 2014, outlined a review of waste legislation in response to a legal obligation to assess targets of the Waste Framework Direction, the Landfill Directive and the Packaging Waste Directive.
But in its 2015 Work Programme, the Commission announced the intention to withdraw the 2014 proposal and to replace it with a new, ‘more ambitious’ proposal by the end of 2015 to promote the circular economy.