22 Nov

EU Waste Directive – Ambition needed

OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER NAUGHTON.

To the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Re: Final steps for more ambitious EU waste legislation – your help is needed

Dear Minister Naughton,

The 2018 Climate Change Performance Index highlights Ireland as being the worst performing country in Europe for action on climate change. (https://www.climate-change-performance-index.org/). The Index is produced annually on the basis of joint analysis by two leading European think-tanks. It places Ireland 49th out of 56 countries, a drop of 28 places from last year.

The expert report lays bare the continuing and disturbing contradiction between the Irish Government’s rhetoric on climate change and the stark reality of very poor progress made here. However, we can redeem ourselves and play catch up. Here is one way to do so if we are serious about our deteriorating Environmental conditions.

At the moment final stage of the negotiations within the European Council’s Working Party on the Environment regarding amendments to the EU Waste Directive is fast approaching.

We in the Zero Waste movement are calling on all environmentally conscious politicians to urgently support ambitious measures in three key areas:

  1. more ambitious recycling targets;
  2. urgent action on tackling marine litter; and
  3. immediate action to curb food waste.

We actively support the ambitions of better resource and waste management in Ireland and the EU and the move towards a truly Circular Economy. However, we are concerned about the obstructing position of the Council, undermining the negotiations of the Waste Directives as well as job creation and environmental progress in the EU.

As the fifth trilogue negotiation approaches, we call on you and the government to support the following three key measures in the Council’s mandate for the Trilogue of 27th November 2017:

Higher targets for preparation for reuse and recycling, and mandatory separate collection:

In order to gain the maximum benefits of resource savings and job creation, it is essential to support a target of 70% of municipal solid waste to be prepared for reuse and recycled by 2030. Countless European countries and municipalities have shown this is possible to achieve.

In addition, a key legislative step to reach this target is to remove loopholes around compulsory separate collection and pricing anomalies such as flat rate fees which we see in Ireland

Tackling marine litter: Include a European Union wide marine litter reduction target of

  • 30% by 2025 and
  • 50% by 2030

for the ten most common types of litter found on beaches (mainly plastics), as well as for fishing gear found at sea, with the list adapted to each of the four marine regions in the EU.

Curbing food wastage: Include a European Union wide food waste reduction target of

  • 30% by 2025 and
  • 50% by 2030, from farm to fork.

In parallel, introduce a review clause calling on the European Commission to propose a binding target by 2020 once baseline data and a clear methodology are available, and support the introduction of a standardized food waste hierarchy.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information and discussion. Thanks for giving this your consideration,

Best regards,

Sean Cronin,

Director

Zero Waste Alliance Ireland

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