10 Jul 2023

Update on the Waste Framework Directive

On 5 July 2023, the European Commission published its proposal for the revision of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD). Another big review starting right before the end of the legislative mandate, you might be thinking. Not quite. The Commission opted this time for a targeted revision which would only introduce requirements related to food and textile waste.

More specifically, the proposal sets out targets to reduce food waste generation by 10% in processing and manufacturing, and by 30% in retail, restaurants, food services and households, compared to 2020 levels and per capita. It leaves it to Member States to draw up food waste prevention programmes including measures to reach these targets, but awareness-raising campaigns and measures aimed at addressing inefficiencies of the food supply chain are expressively mentioned in the text. Beyond food, improving the management of textile waste is another key objective of the proposal, pursued through the introduction of mandatory Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes for textiles in all Member States, whereby fees will be eco-modulated on the basis of the environmental performance of textiles.

The proposal is part of a broader package of measures for a sustainable use of key resources (see here a recap of all tabled initiatives) and also stems from the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan, which call for reinforced and accelerated EU and Member State action to ensure environmental sustainability of the food and textiles sectors.

The preservation of food and shelf-life extension are key functionalities of packaging, and we fully support the introduction of food waste reduction targets. At the same time, we believe that a targeted revision of the WFD represents a missed opportunity to ensure stronger alignment with the objectives of the PPWR revision, for instance by tackling inadequate collection of packaging waste, as well as ensuring the strengthening and full transposition of general minimum requirements for EPR schemes.

What did you miss?

  • 5 July 2023: Publication of the European Commission proposal for a targeted revision of the Waste Framework Directive

What’s next?