Greece at risk of missing EU waste management targets

Greece at risk of missing EU waste management targets

Greece is among the 14 EU member-states that are at risk of missing the 2020 target of 50 percent recycling of municipal waste, the European Commission said in a report on the implementation of EU legislation published on Monday.

Besides Greece, the other countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.

Legal obligations on the management of municipal waste (waste from households and similar waste) are laid down in the Waste Framework Directive. These include a 50 percent municipal waste preparing for re-use or recycling target to be achieved by 2020.

The Directive was recently revised to include new and more ambitious targets: 55 percent to be achieved by 2025, 60 percent by 2030 and 65 percent by 2035. It also also introduces a system of early warning reports to assess member-states’ progress towards these targets three years ahead of the respective deadlines.

Concerning construction and demolition waste, the Directive sets a 2020 target of 70 percent preparation for re-use, recycling and other material recovery for this waste stream. Member-states’ performances vary significantly, with over half reporting that they already met the 2020 target in the 2013- 2015 period, and some even achieving over 90 percent recovery, however, Greece, Cyprus, Slovakia, and Sweden are still below 60 percent.

On packaging waste, several member-states missed one or more material-specific targets: for paper and cardboard (Malta), wood (Croatia, Malta, Cyprus, Finland), metal (Croatia, Malta), and glass (Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Hungary, Portugal, Poland, and Romania).

As regards meeting the targets for biodegradable waste reduction, the completeness of the data submitted by member-states varies. According to the reported data, in 2015, half of EU countries had already met the 35 percent target for 2016.

Croatia missed its 75 percent target which was due in 2013. Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia and Slovakia missed the 50 percent target, also due in 2013.

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