June 9, 2023

FEAD pledges commitment of the waste management industry, as Member States struggle to meet recycling targets

Brussels, 9 June 2023 – FEAD pledges the commitment of the waste management industry to enhancing recycling targets, after a Commission report showed that a significant number of EU Member States fall behind in achieving them. The Early Warning Report (EWR) published on 8 June highlights the pressing need for stronger efforts to meet the recycling objectives and underscores the crucial role of the waste management industry in achieving a sustainable circular economy.

According to the EWR, only nine out of the 27 EU member states are projected to meet the targets of preparing for reuse and recycling 55% of municipal waste and recycling 65% of all packaging waste by 2025, raising concerns that the objective of recycling 60% of municipal waste by 2030 may be at risk, particularly in the challenging area of plastic packaging recycling.

As the report highlights that there is still progress needed, FEAD agrees that high capture rates and the quality of separate collection are essential preconditions for preparing for re-use and recycling. The waste management industry is ready to cooperate with national and local authorities and make all necessary investments to enhance recycling rates, but a robust legislative framework that creates a stable market for recycled materials is essential.

The publication also provides a preliminary assessment on the target of reducing landfilling of municipal waste to below 10% by 2035. With eight countries exceeding 50% rates, FEAD stresses the urgency to deploy all available municipal waste treatment technologies with the needed capacities. Achieving the targets of the EU waste legislation requires the support of European institutions and Member State authorities, which must give priority to sorting, recycling and energy recovery plants.

To delve into the report’s findings, FEAD is pleased to announce its event on 6 July, featuring Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea, the Commission’s Director of Circular Economy, who will analyse the EWR. The event, titled “How to make the circular economy work? A new alliance between the waste management sector and the manufacturing industry”, will bring together industry experts, policymakers, and stakeholders for insightful discussions on overcoming the challenges faced by EU Member States, and the potential role of a (new) collaboration between the waste management and manufacturing industries. As a testament to its firm commitment to a circular economy, FEAD will conclude the event presenting its strategic vision for the future of the waste management industry for the upcoming years.

FEAD is the European Waste Management Association, representing the private waste and resource management industry across Europe, including 18 national waste management federations and 3,000 waste management companies. Private waste management companies operate in 60% of municipal waste markets in Europe and in 75% of industrial and commercial waste. This means more than 320,000 local jobs, fuelling €5 billion of investments into the economy every year. For more information, please contact:

FEAD Secretariat