Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Waste management and circular economy

Waste management - 30.09.2015

A fairer distribution of responsibilities between those who produce waste and those who recycle is needed
By the end of 2015, the European Commission will be presenting a new circular economy strategy to achieve a more efficient waste management, a better eco-design and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Municipalities and regions will be essential to the implementation of the new package as they are, most of the time, legally in charge of waste management on their territories. But what do towns and regions expect from this new directive? How can they contribute to possible new recycling strategies? What role will they play when searching for economic instruments in municipal waste management? These are some of the questions addressed by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) during a conference, on 29 September. 

CEMR was represented by its spokesperson on environment and Councillor of Runnymede (member of our British association), Linda Gillham, who declared  that: “At the moment we have a Circular economy strategy in which regional and local authorities are carrying most of the burden of the waste cycle […] We call on producers to take more responsibility for their packaging both in the amount used, its recycled content but also in the way consumers are expected to deal with it.” 

Indeed, in CEMR we believe that the new waste dossier should include the implementation of the ‘extended producer responsibility’ principle (one of the main ways of implementing the ‘polluter pays’) which lays out the responsibility of the producer concerning the management of manufactured products said producer has put on the market. This principle is of particular relevance at the end of the product’s life cycle, when the product is ready to be thrown away and will define producers as the responsible for the costs of collection, management, treatment, and eco-design of the product.

CEMR already participated in the Commission’s public consultation launched in August and will react to the future Commission’s proposal to put forward the role of local government in the process of waste management. 
Additional information

The conference “Closing the loop in the Circular Economy: contributions and expectations from Europe's local and regional authorities” was organised by the Committee of the Regions to contribute to the future Commission’s proposal preparations of the new package.

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