On 18th April 2018, the European Parliament approved the proposal of a directive on Packaging and packaging waste, that will amend the Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste.

The European Council still has to vote for its final adoption, but the EU ambassadors already approved these new rules on waste management and recycling on 23rd February 2018. Therefore, the European Council approval is supposed to be just a pro forma. The Circular Economy Package will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal.

In detail, the new directive amends six directives: the Directive 2008/98/EC on Waste; the Directive 1999/31/EC on Landfill; the Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste; and the Directives 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles, the 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and the 2012/19/EU on waste electrical equipment (also known as WEEE).

The Circular Economy Package defines that the reuse and recycling of municipal waste will have to reach the 55% by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035.

The European Parliament has also agreed on specific targets regarding all packaging in general (65% by 2025 and 70% by 2030) as well as particular packaging, i.e. plastics (50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030), wood (25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030), ferrous metals (70% by 2025 and 80% by 2030), aluminium (50% by 2025 and 60% by 2030), glass (70% by 2025 and 75% by 2030), and paper and cardboard (75% by 2025 and 85% by 2030).

The Circular Economy Package aims to lead to more recycling and contribute to the creation of a circular economy; improve the way waste is managed; and encourage the re-use of valuable material embedded in waste.

According to the Commission, the Circular Economy Package will provide economic and environmental benefits. It will create 170.000 direct jobs in the EU by 2035; it will avoid greenhouse gases emissions; it will increase the competitiveness of the EU waste management, recycling and manufacturing sectors; it will reduce the dependency of the EU on raw material imports; it will reduce the administrative burden; and it will decrease the impacts on the environment and human health.

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