Open Letter on the Implementation of the RED in the European Union: Excluding Waste Incineration from the Waste Heat Targets

This open letter addresses the misclassification of waste incineration’s heat output as ‘waste heat’ within the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) framework in the EU. It highlights the negative environmental impacts of waste incineration, including greenhouse gas emissions and disincentivizing waste prevention and recycling efforts. We advocate for the exclusion of waste incineration from ‘waste heat’ targets, emphasising the importance of prioritising genuine renewable energy sources like heat pumps and solar thermal for district heating. It urges policymakers to prioritise waste prevention, recycling targets, and investment in innovative clean energy technologies to achieve a truly sustainable energy future.

Open letter – “Yes to an EU legislation on Sustainable Resource Management”

Zero Waste Europe joined over 100 organisations in an open letter calling for EU legislation on Sustainable Resource Management. Signed by various NGOs, academics, think tanks, trade unions, and industries, this letter advocates that legislation on Sustainable Resource Management is crucial to address the challenges of global crises, and to ensure that the EU economy operates within planetary boundaries.

Available in English.

Response to 2040 EU climate target proposal: methane must be addressed

The Methane Matter Coalition, a coalition of non-profit organisations working on methane mitigation, has submitted a collective letter to the European Commission regarding the recently announced 2040 climate target. Enclosed within this letter are our recommendations aimed at significantly reducing methane emissions across various sectors within the EU, namely agriculture, waste management, and energy. These recommendations address key priority areas aligned with the 10 building blocks outlined in the 2040 proposal, emphasizing the importance of effective methane reduction strategies.

Joint letter calling on the European Parliament to strengthen food waste reduction targets in the Waste Framework Directive revision

65 non-profit and business organisations from 22 EU countries call on the European Parliament to introduce ambitious, legally binding targets to halve food waste by 2030 in the ongoing revision of the EU Waste Framework Directive (WFD).

Reducing food waste is one of the most impactful measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Because of this, ambitious food waste reduction targets represent a unique opportunity to help achieve EU climate goals.

Together with 65 European organisations, the ‘Prevent Waste Coalition on Food Waste’ (composed of the European Environmental Bureau, Feedback EU, Safe Food Advocacy Europe, Too Good To Go, and Zero Waste Europe) is therefore calling for legally binding targets for EU Member States to reduce their food loss and waste by 50% by 2030, at all stages of the supply chain.

Available in English.

Joint letter – NGOs and industry call on the Waste Framework Directive revision

In this joint letter, civil society and industry organisations would like to express their support for a limited expansion of the current scope of the proposal to revise the Waste Framework Directive (WFD).

While a comprehensive revision of the WFD should be envisaged in the future, the current revision should address urgent issues related to incineration and landfilling of municipal waste and introduce targets for the collection and recycling of waste oils. This is crucial to deliver on the Green Deal commitments and speed up the transition towards a circular economy.

Available in English.

Joint statement on Extended Producer Responsibility for Textiles

In this joint statement, eleven NGOs and progressive business associations call for action to make the EU-wide Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for textiles, as proposed under the revision of the Waste Framework Directive, a success. The measure must not only ensure sound waste management but also tackle the surge of textile waste in Europe at its source.

Available in English

Joint statement calling for a transparent and reliable policy framework defining recycling content in plastic

Civil society organisations and responsible companies operating in relevant sectors wrote to the European Commission to urge for the prioritisation of robust and transparent chain of custody models for calculating recycled content in the European Commission’s implementing decision that establishes rules for the application of Directive (EU) 2019/904. This has been done in the belief that it is necessary to rectify the decision in order to ensure the highest quality and transparency in the determination of recycled content.

Available in English

Joint letter on the need to include bio-waste targets in the Waste Framework Directive

The mandatory bio-waste collection in the EU, slated to begin on the 1st of January 2024, lacks concrete collection targets which will pave the way for inadequate schemes that fail to address the issue at hand. Bio-waste holds immense potential for recycling valuable resources. Yet, evidence shows that without a concerted effort to capture and utilise bio-waste, we will fall short of the ambitious 65% recycling target by 2035. A mere 34% of the total bio-waste was collected in 2018, leaving a staggering 40 million tonnes of potential soil nutrients to be discarded, polluting our environment and squandering invaluable resources. Our environment, our communities, and our future generations deserve better.

The signatories of this joint letter, including MEPs, environmental organisations, and industry leaders, demand mandatory targets on bio-waste reduction within the current revision of the WFD, and call on the European Commission to provide proper guidance and tools to Member States to achieve them. Adopting specific targets for biowaste in residual waste aims to incentivize proper collection and recycling practices.

Open letter to the European Commission on keeping up the ambition in times of crisis

Together with 29 other organisations and associations, Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) sent an open letter to the President of the European Commission, the Executive-Vice-President, the Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries and the Commissioner for lnternal Market on the topic of the current energy crisis. In the letter, the signatories state their concerns regarding the European project not being capable of delivering on its objectives of peace, prosperity, and equality with the current policies. The signatories urge the Commission to redouble its efforts to increase resource efficiency and decarbonise production and consumption. Consequently, the policies on circularity and net-zero should be reinforced and remain at the top of the EU agenda.

Letter on the GHG emissions saving methodology for RCF

Zero Waste Europe, ECOS, European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Transport & Environment (T&E), Bellona and Polish Zero Waste Association sent a joint letter to the Permanent Representations as well as the ENVI and ITRE rapporteurs and shadows of the Renewable Energy Directive on the GHG emissions of waste-based recycled carbon fuels ahead of the third trilogue meeting on 14 December 2022. The letter underlines the importance of taking the carbon content of feedstock when analyzing low carbon fuels.

Joint letter – Inclusion of waste incineration in the EU ETS

In a joint letter addressed to the Permanent Representations of EU member states, Zero Waste Europe and 17 other civil society organisations urge the EU to reduce its municipal waste incineration capacities; and to fully exploit the climate protection potential of waste prevention and recycling, in order to achieve the EU’s climate protection targets.

Available in English.

Open letter to the European Commission regarding the revision of the Waste Framework Directive

With the support of 10 Members of the European Parliament and 47 other NGOs, Zero Waste Europe has sent an open letter to EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, calling for urgent action in order to tackle the waste crisis. In the letter, the signatories state their concerns regarding the Waste Framework Directive revision’s very limited scope. The signatories urge the Commission to adopt legally binding, European-level quantitative targets for municipal solid waste prevention.

NGO letter to Ursula von der Leyen on REACH and CLP reform

This NGO letter, spearheaded by the European Environmental Bureau (EBB) and co-signed by Zero Waste Europe, pleads with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to see an opportunity for change in current crises. It highlights the importance of continuing to pursue the achievement of the zero pollution vision by implementing the detoxification and decarbonisation agenda of the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability without further delays.

Available in English.

Joint Letter to DG FISMA on the manufacture of plastic packaging goods

ZWE, ClientEarth, DUH, ECOS, EEB and Sekab sent a joint letter to the European Commission on the clarification on the manufacture of plastic packaging goods in the fourth delegated act of the EU Taxonomy.

The letter puts forward a number of recommendations to ensure appropriate technical screening criteria that are in line with a transition towards a circular economy.

Available in English.

Letter on the role of incineration in Ukraine’s Recovery Plan

Zero Waste Europe (ZWE), Zero Waste Alliance Ukraine (ZWAU) and Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) sent a letter to the President of the European Commission concerning the role of incineration in Ukraine’s Recovery Plan. The letter puts forward a number of concerns related to the prospective EU funding facilitating the increase of incineration capacity in Ukraine as part of the country’s recovery plan.

Available in English.