In order to accelerate the EU’s progress towards sustainable consumption and production, the Commission proposes to set legally binding food waste reduction targets for Member States to achieve by 2030. More specifically, Member States are obliged to take the necessary measures to reduce food waste by the end of 2030:

  • by 10% in processing and manufacturing,
  • by 30% (per capita), jointly in retail trade and consumption (restaurants, food services and households).

The legislative proposal, which amends the Waste Framework Directive, foresees a formal review of progress made by Member States by the end of 2027. The Commission will then carry out a formal review of the progress made by Member States, including the possibility to adapt targets if evidence suggests that the EU can contribute further towards the overall ambition.

On the other hand, the Commission proposes to introduce mandatory and harmonised extended producer responsibility schemes for textiles in all EU Member States. Producers will cover the costs of textile waste management, which will also give them incentives to reduce waste and increase the circularity of textile products by designing better products from the outset. The amount producers will pay will be adjusted according to the environmental performance of textiles, a principle known as ‘eco-modulation’.

The common EU extended producer responsibility rules will also make it easier for Member States to implement the requirement to collect textiles separately from 2025 onwards, ensuring that used textiles are sorted for reuse, and that what cannot be reused is directed to recycling as a priority. The proposal also addresses the problem of illegal exports of textile waste to countries ill-equipped to manage it. The new law would clarify what constitutes waste and what is considered reusable textiles, to end the practice of exporting waste disguised as reuse.

The Commission’s legislative proposal will now be the subject of negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union with a view to its adoption by the co-legislators under the ordinary legislative procedure.

Main picture: Sigmund in Unsplash