From recycling to circular economy—Draft national waste plan published

News 2017-06-01 at 13:47
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The national waste plan introduces means for reducing the amount of produced waste, improving the recycling level, increasing material efficiency and promoting circular economy during the next six years. The published draft is to be approved in 2017 after a public consultation.

The national waste plan that covers the time until 2023 has been published as a draft. The plan lays out the goal for 2030 and presents measures that promote the prevention of waste production, recycling, material efficiency and safety of material cycles over the next six years.

“Waste management has been thought of as a necessity that incurs costs. Circular economy, however, refers to a new type of system that brings benefits. I like the mind-set that the shift to circular economy entails,” said Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, at the publication event of the draft waste plan on 30 May.

The waste plan has four areas of focus: construction waste, biodegradable waste, municipal waste and waste electric and electronic equipment. These areas require particular attention so that the development can be put on the right track. Both financial and administrative control measures are listed along with voluntary measures.

The goals include slowing the rate of growth of municipal waste compared to the gross domestic product, increasing the utilisation rate of construction waste to 70% and halving food wastage by 2030.

“The state administration alone cannot attain these goals. This is why voluntary measures have also been listed in the plan to commit other operators,” explained Sirje Stén, Senior Officer at the Ministry of the Environment.

The Government is likely to adopt the national waste plan in 2017 after public consultation. The deadline for submissions is until 20 August. A comprehensive background report and publications have been published to support the waste plan. The environmental impact assessment of the plan will be published later.