On September 16, 2016 the online platform EurActiv.com published an article on Germany’s intent to postpone decisions on EU recycling targets for municipal waste for at least three years. In the article, news editor James Crisp refers “to a document circulated among diplomat’s working groups and obtained by EurActiv.com”. Under the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy, several targets for the reduction of waste were proposed including a common EU target for recycling 60 and 65% of municipal waste by 2025 and 2030, respectively. Although Germany already fulfills the target of 2030, it first wants to introduce an alternative calculation method “to collect data and experience to determine the current status in the member states”. After three years of data collection, which shall be based on standard loss rates set by the recyclers instead of the amount of waste entering the recycling process, the European Commission may introduce feasible recycling targets. On August 31, 2016 a similar approach based on achievable recycling targets and a harmonized and clarified calculation methodology was published by the European Organisation for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN) and 35 further associations.

According to James Crisp, other industry groups represented by e.g. Brigitte Dero from Vinyl Plus and Erika Mink from Tetra Pak are supporting recycling targets. Also Ferran Rosa from Zero Waste Europe commented that binding measures are needed to bring systemic change and that high recycling rates can be achieved within short periods of time as examples have shown.

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James Crisp (September 16, 2016). “Germany wants to scrap EU recycling targets.EurActive 

Zero Waste Europe (September 16, 2016). “Press Release: Germany should work for and not against a Circular Economy in Europe.

Sustainable Brands (August 31, 2016). “Packaging industry urges EU to embolden circular economy strategy.

Plasteurope.com (September 22, 2016). “Plastics trade groups present joint proposals – Shaping EU sustainability package.