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Waste management and resource efficiency high on DG Environment

During the European Week of Waste Reduction Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik called for a revolution in European waste management. The ambition of the Commission is to accelerate a move up the waste hierarchy, Potočnik told an audience at the WRAP annual conference.

In the Resource Efficiency Roadmap and the 7th Environmental Action Programme the Commission sets out its objectives to be achieved by 2020:

  • To reduce waste generated per person;
  • To maximise recycling and re-use;
  • To limit incineration to non-recyclable materials;
  • To phase out landfilling.

Potočnik told the audience that the Commission would present a review of its waste policies and targets next year. He hoped to open up more opportunities in the sector and make the link to the circular economy. The circular economy will also be the theme of Green Week 2014. Read Janez Potočnik’s full speech HERE.

Meanwhile, in a press release DG Environment has also emphasised the importance of the "3Rs" – encouraging citizens to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, in particular the first “R”. The European Week for Waste Reduction aims to increase awareness about how habits can be changed in Europe, and also to encourage debate on issues of resource efficiency and the circular economy. The European Week for Waste Reduction is coordinated by the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Waste Management (ACR+) and supported by the EU's LIFE+ programme.

Linked to the EWWR, a European Clean-Up Day will be launched to take place on – and around - 10 May 2014. The aim of the day is not only to clear up litter, but also to generate a debate about waste and how we manage it.

Issue 29