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de Brún - EP Committee votes to set recycling targets for the first time

9 April, 2008

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has welcomed the strong vote in the European Parliament Environment Committee last night for a clear target to recycle 50% of household and similar wastes and 70% of construction, demolition, manufacturing and industrial waste by 2020. She has also welcomed targets for preventing waste in the first place.

Ms de Brún said:

"The European Parliament Environment Committee yesterday voted to put prevention and recycling targets into EU legislation for the first time. This is an important step. The committee has also voted to put the waste hierarchy into law, so that local and national authorities in making policy for waste management must give preference first to prevention, then to re-use and recycling and only afterwards to consider other less environmentally friendly options such as incineration or landfill.

"I regret that the Committee voted to re-classify incinerators that meet a certain level of energy efficiency as recovery rather than disposal, but I note that the Commission must report within two years on the impact that this has had. Furthermore, if member states are obliged to follow the waste hierarchy then incinerators will still be seen as amongst the least environmentally friendly options for dealing with waste.

"Overall yesterday's vote indicates that the face of waste management in Europe is changing, and the introduction of targets means that greater emphasis must now be given to reducing, re-using and recycling than ever before. I and my colleagues will continue to stress that incineration is among the least environmentally-friendly options and that nothing must be done that will detract from the aim of making Europe a recycling society." ENDS

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