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Ambitious waste policies could generate substantial benefits

New European Union (EU) waste policy has the potential for huge impacts on Europe’s unemployment rates, says a report from the European Environmental Bureau. The report – ‘Advancing Resource Efficiency in Europe’ – reveals the possibility of creating 750,000 new jobs by 2025, and 860,000 by 2030, should the EU adopt new waste policies as part of its impending Waste Targets Review.

The report highlights the benefits that different scenarios for future waste and resource targets could bring. For example, targets on food waste reduction, re-use of textiles and furniture, and recycling, could help mitigate the equivalent of around 415 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030. Strong policies in food waste production could also help avoid cropland use of 57,000 km2 by 2030.

Member States have numerous options at their disposal to implement the scenarios, argues the report. These include tax incentives for recycled or re-used goods, levies on disposed products, variable charging schemes for households, and reinforced Extended Producer Responsibility. The report recommends these options be combined in such a way that more environmentally-friendly options in the waste hierarchy become more appealing to producers, consumers and municipalities.

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