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Neligan, Adriana
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IW policy paper 9/2016
The European Commission is taking serious steps towards realising the concepts of 'recycle, repair and re-use' and avoiding waste at all stages of the value chain with its EU circular economy package (December 2015). Besides setting new recycling and landfilling targets to enforce member states to climb up the waste hierarchy, the EU Commission also intends to harmonise the measuring of recycling and re-use rates in the European Union to make more transparent, how much is effectively recycled. Recycling of municipal waste has a long tradition in Germany, which is currently leading the EU recycling hierarchy. Only a few other countries are also on track for the new 2030 recycling targets. The United Kingdom, for instance, has undertaken huge efforts to intensify its recycling over the past decade, but many countries still need to improve further despite some positive developments in the past decade. For many member states, e.g. Romania, Slovakia and Latvia, recycling is still a foreign word. As a result, the majority of countries needs to push their recycling efforts significantly by increasing their recycling rate at higher speed until 2030 compared to the past decade. An EU-wide move towards more recycling is only realistic, if low-level recycling countries change their national waste treatment system and install a new waste management infrastructure. [...]
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Working Paper

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