February 2015

Local Authority Waste & Recycling Magazine

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COMMENT 4 Local Authority Waste & Recycling February 2015 To do things differently and do different things Sounds ambiguous! The above formed part of a sentence given in a speech made by European Commission (EC) First Vice-President Frans Timmermans at the end of last year. He was giving a presentation in Brussels about the EC's Work Programme for 2015. The speech didn't go down well with the resource manage- ment industry as it confirmed ongoing rumours that the EC would withdraw the current 'Circular Economy Package'. The EC now plans to replace it with a "more ambitious pro- posal" by the end of this year. However, the EC has not clarified what a "more ambitious proposal" means. The existing proposal required Member States to recycle 70% of municipal waste by 2030. Will it now be opting for a 80% recycling target by 2017? The news of the EC's announcement has inevitably created an atmos- phere of uncertainty among the resource management sector. Nevertheless, Timmermans has pledged that the EC will "not drag its feet with this" and get a plan in place by the end of 2015. It really must keep its word and make this proposal in a speedy manner while the topic is still fresh in people's minds and thoughts. On the other hand, this announcement could mean that some businesses opt not to wait for direction from the EC. Some have started to do this already. As Ricardo-AEA's Adam Read points out, "businesses are driving circularity for their own reasons". In this issue, he gives his opinions on what impact the EC's decision will have on industry (see page 20). If the EC does come back with a more ambitious Circular Economy Package then sending waste to landfill will be a thing of the past. In this issue, Carsten Diekmann, general manager of plastic container specialist George Utz UK, ques- tions whether the UK is becoming a "treasure island" which could see landfill sites reopened to capture old PET bottles (see page 24). Well, you have to do things differently and do different things! Liz Gyekye, Editor Follow me on Twitter: @LAWR_editor

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