The Environment Committee votes to cut funding for incineration


25 Oct 2018


Press Contact: Janek Vahk, Development and Policy Coordinator, Zero Waste Europe
[email protected] 

+32 (0) 493 55 3779

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brussels, 25/10/18

Members of the ENVI committee of the European Parliament voted today on the Commission proposal about the Cohesion Fund post-2020.

The committee’s opinion recognises the transition to a Circular Economy as an important objective

that the Cohesion Fund should serve.  

In this matter, the ENVI committee proposed to direct EU funding to higher waste hierarchy options – waste prevention, reuse and recycling

to help member states advance  towards a Circular Economy, while excluding funding for residual waste treatment facilities, e.g. waste incineration

and MBT (Mechanical Biological Treatment).

From Zero Waste Europe Perspective, the ENVI committee opinion acknowledges the importance of moving away from supporting primarily

waste disposal and recovery operations in Member States and focus on the waste management options at the top of the waste hierarchy – waste prevention, reuse and recycling – instead.  

This is particularly relevant for Central and Eastern European countries (CEE) that have invested over 50% of the Cohesion Funding

into residual waste treatment whilst underinvested in developing separate collection and recycling schemes.

This puts several of them at risk of not meeting the objectives of the waste framework directive for 2020.

Janek Vahk, Development and Policy Coordinator at Zero Waste Europe (ZWE), said: Adding more residual waste treatment capacity

risks undermining the current and 2035 targets such as higher separate collection and recycling requirements.“

For ZWE, the ENVI committee has clearly reacted to the Commission’s report on the implementation of EU waste directives noticing that

half of the EU countries face the risk of not meeting their 2020 waste obligationsIt backs the Commission recommendation

to make more effective use of EU funds by ensuring that co-financing supports the development of waste management infrastructures

encouraging waste prevention, reuse and recycling performance, rather than investing in residual waste treatment, thus helping Member States

to meet their 2020 and 2035 waste obligations.

Zero Waste Europe congratulates the ENVI Committee and the team of rapporteurs, and calls on the REGI Committee to support

the ENVI committee decision to exclude support for the treatment of residual waste facilities in the committee vote on November 21st.



  1. Zero Waste Europe’s opinion on the Commission’s legislative proposal on the Cohesion Fund post-2020


The final text agreed upon includes:

Article 6: Exclusion from the scope of the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund.

Article 6.1 point g – investment in facilities for the treatment of residual waste.