Don't Let This Opportunity Go To Waste – WFD Consultation Now Open

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A public consultation on Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC (the "WFD") was recently launched and is open until 16 August 2022.
United States Environment
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A public consultation on Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC (the "WFD") was recently launched and is open until 16 August 2022.

What is happening?

The European Commission is advancing plans to revise the WFD to further policy objectives of the European Green Deal, Circular Economy Action Plan and Farm to Fork Strategy. In revising the WFD, the Commission hopes to improve the overall environmental outcome of waste management. The consultation is concentrated on the following policy areas: prevention of waste (notably reduction in food waste); separate collection of waste; waste oils and textiles; application of the waste hierarchy and the polluter pays principle.

Why does it matter?

The existing WFD sets out basic waste management concepts and definitions, established the "polluter pays" principle and extended producer responsibility. It also laid out the waste hierarchy that underpins waste management in the EU: in which prevention of waste is the first and preferred option, followed by preparation for re-use, recycling, recovery, and finally disposal as the last resort.

Many of the re-use, recycling and recovery targets in the original WFD had a target year of 2020. As these dates have passed, the Commission wants to reflect on how waste management techniques and goals have evolved during this period. In particular, it wants to focus on moving forwards on waste prevention to try to negate the rest of the waste hierarchy and achieve the circular economy and climate neutrality objectives of the European Green Deal.

How can my views be heard?

If you'd like to submit views on the proposed revisions, the window is now open until 16 August 2022. Please note that feedback will be made public. See here to participate, and here to learn more about the Commission's review of the WFD.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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