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Parliament trashes waste, wants better use of resources

Press Release

Thursday 9 Jul 2015

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed today’s approval, in the European Parliament, of a report pushing for a transition from disposal to better recycling and reuse of wasted materials.

The report on the so-called “circular economy” was prepared in Parliament’s Environment and Public Health Committee, where Ms. Childers sits as a full member.

It asks for a strategic shift to curb resource consumption, which will have a significantly positive impact both on employment and the environment.

Speaking from Strasbourg after the vote, Ms. Childers said:

“We have been absolutely adamant with the Commission on the need for it to put forward a comprehensive and ambitious reform package at EU level that will help us convert huge amounts of what is now waste into raw materials for industrial production.

“We import half of the Union’s resources from overseas while at the same time trashing around 600 million tonnes of waste that is fit for reuse.

“The growth of emerging economies is adding to the extreme pressure the developed world already puts on the limited resources available on our planet.

“This is an existential threat that many turn a blind eye to in the short term, but I hope that the financial incentives from reuse, at a time of increasing competition for raw materials and scarce resources will focus the minds of conservative political forces to come onboard.

“The conservative right in the European Parliament was persistent in its efforts to water down the report but we ended up with a serious set of demands for the Commission to initiate legislative action before the end of this year.

“With the right, and often straightforward measures, food waste can realistically be cut by one third in the EU.

“Our production chains can be redesigned to manufacture products that are less resource-intensive more easily recyclable, and enjoy longer lives, with enhanced repairability instead of planned obsolescence.

“We must reduce landfilling with better recycling and industrial waste management systems.

“This will help us increase resource efficiency by as much as one third by 2030, save industries almost half a trillion Euros in the cost of materials and create a significant amount of jobs in this sector.”