The Parliamentary term 2014-2019 has been very active on the field of waste. With the transition towards a circular economy at the centre of current environmental debates, the chamber has discussed and set its own position regarding the revision of four waste-related Directives. It has approved several own initiative reports, finalised the trilogies, and approved the so-called ‘Plastic Bags Directive’, aimed at significantly reducing the use of single-use plastic bags.

Position of EP on Waste framework Directive (March 2017)

Vote Breakdown

576

For

95

Against

27

Abstain

28

Absent

336 votes required to pass.

On 14 March 2017, the European Parliament approved the Bonafè report, confirming the increased ambition of the Environment Committee on four legislative proposals on waste. Prepared by Italian MEP Simona Bonafè, the text set bold recycling targets for all waste. Read Zero Waste Europe’s press release here and see details of the vote here.

Packaging and packaging waste

Vote Breakdown

582

For

88

Against

28

Abstain

28

Absent

336 votes required to pass.

Adopted on the same day, another proposal prepared by Bonafè focuses specifically on reducing the waste from used packaging materials.

Circular Economy Package

Despite its stormy beginning, the Circular Economy Package has been one of the most relevant environmental policy pieces discussed at the European level. It was first proposed in July 2014 by former Commissioner Potocnik and, while praised by Zero Waste Europe and other NGOs, it soon became clear that the newly elected Commission Juncker was planning to ditch it.

Read More


New momentum

The year between the withdrawal and the new proposal served to gain momentum on the need to transition towards a less wasteful society. The approval of the Plastic Bag Directive in November 2014 showed the way to the prevention of waste, while the Own Initative Report lead by Sirpa Pietikainen, of July 2015, sent a strong message from the Parliament in favour of a strong circular economy.

Read More