Brussels - Seas At Risk and other environmental NGOs have sent an open letter today to European Commission President Juncker and Vice-President Timmermans, requesting that they do not withdraw the vital waste management proposal.
This review, part of the broader Circular Economy Package, proposes ambitious recycling targets amongst other things, and is a vital step towards ending the input of waste into the oceans. The proposal is under threat and may be withdrawn by the new Commission, under the principle of ‘political discontinuity’, which allows a new Commission to withdraw the outgoing Commission’s pending proposals. In a leaked letter from Juncker on the Commission’s 2015 Work Programme, the waste proposal was marked as one that could be withdrawn because it does not fit with the new ‘jobs and growth’ agenda. However, the Commission’s own impact assessment has demonstrated that the proposal, combined with full implementation of existing waste rules, could provide Europe with 580 000 additional jobs.
The proposal, released in July this year, was widely welcomed by NGOs, trade unions, industry associations and many other stakeholders. These same parties are dismayed that the proposal may be withdrawn, and in response have sent a letter (below) signed by 27 separate entities to request that the Commission allows the proposal to continue through the co-decision procedure that has already begun.
Considering up to 80% of marine litter comes from the land, better waste management is essential to stop it from ending up in the oceans. Combined with the move towards a circular economy where waste is prevented in the first place, this is the most important measures for safeguarding oceans from the harmful effects of our throwaway society.