The European Union’s (EU) total waste generation has been steadily increasing over the years, and currently only about 38% of this waste is recycled. Bio-waste constitutes the largest component of the EU waste, and about 60% of this is food waste. More can and should be done.
The EU’s Waste Framework Directive (WFD) lays down fundamental waste prevention and management principles. It’s key objective is to protect the environment and human health from the negative impact of the waste. The WFD contributes to the EU’s overarching objective to decouple waste generation and economic growth.
Considering the remaining and profound challenges of the climate and sustainability emergency, the EC has been conducting a targeted revision of the WFD in order to increase the level of environmental and public health protection. The biggest new focal point is now on food waste prevention and management. EuroHealthNet – with its focus on healthy, inclusive and sustainable EU food systems, as part of the EU farm to Fork Strategy – has contributed.
However, the WFD’s revision could go further in extending its scope on tobacco control policies by reviewing the EU’s approach to tobacco-related waste. EuroHealthNet has endorsed the Smoke Free Partnership‘s recommended actions here, that call for greater health and equity protection on the EU’s take on cigarette waste prevention and management.