In an article headlined "Turning waste into a resource", the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) newsletter for December 2017 highlights our October 2017 report for STOA on waste management and circular economy.  It focuses on the current policy landscape and technologies for five sectors: municipal, food and packaging waste, bio-waste, and critical raw materials.

The STOA newsletter summarises the report's findings: that around two-thirds of EU Member States are now generating less municipal waste per capita than ten years ago; that Member States with high GDP produce more waste per capita than those with low GDP, and many still send a large proportion of their municipal waste to landfill or incineration; and that there are opportunities to increase waste prevention, for example in household food waste.

It is known that WEEE is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the EU. As it contains precious metals and critical raw materials, WEEE waste is "key for expanding circular economy principles focused on value recovery". Future recycling efforts may focus on product components and ways to separate and recover them, rather than on materials as at present.  Meanwhile, an economy which prioritises repair, re-use, remanufacturing and recycling will lead to increased job opportunities, including for disadvantaged workers.

As the EU Parliament ponders on new mission-oriented policies within a reduced post-Brexit budget, the best value opportunities come not from increasing recycling targets for the top performing Member States. Instead our study supports those who say, simply; set a mission to get all Member States above 50% recycling.

Download our report from our 'Projects' page or from the link below.

External Link