Today, the Commission is launching a public consultation on the revision of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), including setting of EU food waste reduction targets. The revision aims to improve the overall environmental outcome of waste management in line with the waste hierarchy and the implementation of the polluter pays principle. The public consultation is open for feedback until 16 August 2022. It will focus on the following policy areas: prevention (including reduction of food waste), separate collection, waste oils and textiles and the application of the waste hierarchy and the polluter pays principle. This revision considers several legislative review clauses referred to in the Directive as well as the policy objectives set in The European Green Deal, the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Circular Economy Action Plan.
Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said
To achieve the circular economy and climate neutrality objectives of the European Green Deal, we need to make a stronger effort to avoid generating waste in the first place and to make our waste management sector more performant. This is what we want to do with this revision and are working to set for the first time food waste reduction targets. I am looking forward to your views on how to make products more useful and less wasteful at the end of their life.
Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said:
The challenges posed to our climate and biodiversity, the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing conflicts make the transition to resilient and sustainable food systems that protect both people and the planet even more important. Food waste is one of the greatest sources of inefficiency in our food systems. We must step up our efforts to curb such waste. By introducing legally binding targets to reduce food waste, we intend to reduce the environmental footprint of food systems and accelerate the EU's progress towards our global commitment to halve food waste by 2030.
The public consultation will provide insights for the ongoing work on the impact assessment that will accompany the Commission proposal. The Commission invites citizens and other interested parties to express views on the following elements:
- Waste reduction and prevention
- Food waste reduction
- Separate collection systems
- Regulatory and economic incentives
The consultation will run until 16 August 2022 and is available here.
The EU waste policy provides a framework to improve waste prevention and management, stimulate innovation in separate collection and recycling of waste, limit the use of landfilling, and create incentives to change consumer behaviour.
The Waste Framework Directive also lays down fundamental waste prevention and management principles based on the five-step “waste hierarchy”. It establishes an order of preference for managing and disposing of waste. Under this hierarchy, preventing waste is the preferred option, and sending waste to landfill should be the last resort.
More information on the two initiatives is available on Have your say: the initiative on the Waste Framework Directive can be found here and the one on food waste reduction targets can be found here.
You can find further information on the Waste Framework Directive and food loss and waste prevention on the respective DGs websites.
- Publication date
- 24 May 2022
- Directorate-General for Environment