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European Parliament steps forward to stop burning EU funds

The European Parliament took measures to stop burning EU funds

Press contact: Janek Vahk, European Zero Waste Development and Policy Coordinator | +32 (0) 2 73 62 091

For immediate release: Brussels, 14/2/2019

Today, the European Parliament’s Regional Development Committee (REGI) supports the circular economy and voted to reduce EU subsidies for waste treatment and incineration facilities [1].

Excluding the post-2020 Cohesion Fund's financial support for these obsolete technologies will allow the release of resources to support waste prevention, reuse and recycling, and help member states achieve their 2035 circular economy goals.

Janek Vahk, European Zero Waste Development and Policy Coordinator, said: “This is an important step towards more efficient use of resources. It will bring substantial net savings to businesses, public authorities and consumers, while creating jobs and reducing greenhouses. Gas emissions" [2].

However, Zero Waste Europe is concerned about allowing exemptions to subsidize waste-burning plants in the surrounding areas of Europe, which may impose a huge financial burden on those economically restricted communities and interfere with their recycling goals [3].

Vahk said: "Nothing can stop these areas from achieving ambitious waste reduction and recycling goals[4]-but waste incineration can slow them down. Why do we want to promote our phasing out on the European continent on our islands? The same outdated technology?".

Zero Waste Europe calls on the plenary of the European Parliament to confirm that waste treatment and incineration practices are excluded from the scope of the Cohesion Fund and strengthen the proposal by removing unreasonable exemptions.



[1] The REGI Committee’s report excludes “investment in surplus waste treatment facilities from the scope of the Cohesion Fund, except for the outermost areas, and in the case of state-of-the-art recycling solutions that comply with the following principles” circular economy and waste classification The system fully respects the objectives set out in Article 11(2) of the Directive (EU) 2008/98, provided that the member states have established a waste management plan in accordance with Article 11. Article 29 of the Directive (EU) 2018/851"

[2] 2019 Circular Gap Report, Circular Economy,

[3] The hidden costs of incineration: the case of Madeira and the Azores, Zero Waste in Europe, 2019 -madeira-and-Azores/

[4] There are a few good examples of islands' outstanding performance in the zero waste strategy. Sardinia is a good example, it manages to maximize recycling and reduce the amount of waste generated.

The story of Sardinia, zero waste in Europe, 2018

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