UK criticised over Circular Economy package “transparency”

16th May 2017 | Recycling

The UK Government has been criticised for a “lack of transparency” over its position on the EU’s Circular Economy package, ahead of negotiations on the legislative proposals this summer.

The European Environment Bureau (EEB) pressure group alongside Friends of the Earth Europe and Zero Waste Europe, have approached each of the 27 European Union Member States to assess their stance on the Circular Economy Package, and accused the UK of “failing to conduct negotiations in an open and transparent manner.”

MEPS voted in March in favour of proposals to increase the EU-wide recycling target to 70% by 2030, as well as plans to change the way progress towards recycling targets is measured, among a raft of measures being proposed to update legislation around waste and recycling as part of the package. The measures will be discussed further during negotiations between the European Council of Ministers and Commission in the coming weeks.

By the end of May, all three EU institutions – the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union – will enter the final inter-institutional negotiations before agreeing on the final text of the new waste laws.

Ahead of the negotiations, the groups had asked Member Stated whether they will support the proposals, and has claimed that nations, including Denmark and Finland are highly opposed to the measures – described as “laggards” by the pressure groups. They also claim the UK, Germany, Poland, Ireland and Slovenia and Croatia have been unwilling to share their position, “highlighting a long-standing transparency problem during negotiations between Member States.”

Despite not detailing its stance on the Circular Economy package to the campaign groups, Defra is known to be reluctant to commit to a higher recycling target, with the resources minister Dr Therese Coffey having already described the 65% goal as “too high to be achievable”.

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