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Waste Policy


The EU waste policy aims at tackling the reduction of waste production in the Member States, which represents one of the most problematic environmental problems.

Through a Public Consultation launched in June 2013, the European Commission started a major review of waste policy and legislation. The results of the overall review will be presented in 2014. The Consultation aims to revise the waste targets of three key Directives: the Waste Framework, the Landfill and the Packaging & Packaging Waste Directives.

In its replies to the Public Consultation, UEAPME suggests to improve the monitoring of the Member States’ reports on implementation as well as the need to provide more guidance at national level in order to tackle the different levels of implementation across the Member States. Concerning waste prevention and reuse, UEAPME believes it is better to promote the prevention of waste and the reuse of materials through awareness raising campaigns rather than through the introduction of new targets. Indeed, UEAPME hopes the review will facilitate the understanding of the legislation through clearer definitions and simplified procedures rather than introducing new requirements on businesses, especially SMEs. UEAPME was active during the revision of the codified Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2006/12/EC) . The revised Directive 2008/98/EC, which entered into force on 12 December 2008, sets the basic concepts and definitions related to waste management, such as definitions of waste, recycling, recovery. It explains when waste ceases to be waste and becomes a secondary raw material (so called end-of-waste criteria), and how to distinguish between waste and by-products. The Directive introduces the "polluter pays principle" and the "extended producer responsibility".

In this context, UEAPME regretted the deletion of the “Waste Forum” as a consultative forum between the EU, Member States and all relevant stakeholders. Such a Forum would have been of great help to improve the Directive’s implementation. UEAPME is of the opinion that the introduction of a legally-binding, EU-wide quantitative target will be particularly burdensome for small enterprises in some countries and sectors.

Position Papers

-  February 2017: UEAPME letter to Maltese Presidency on Waste Revision

-  20/04/2016: UEAPME position on revision of EU waste legislation

-  20/04/2016: UEAPME-EUROCHAMBRES amendment proposals on revision of Waste Framework Directive ( 20/04/2016: Cover Letter to MEP Bonafè )

-  December 2014: UEAPME position on the Proposal for a Directive amending different waste directives

-  April 2014: UEAPME position on the Revision of the EU Waste Policy and Legislation

Click here to view the previous Position Papers and Press Releases.