Press Statement
19 December 2017

EU CE Package developments offer hope of progress and more certainty, says CIWM

CIWM has said that the latest developments on the EU Circular Economy package may be less ambitious than many hoped for but there is the promise of progress on a number of fronts.

“It is, as expected, a compromise. But this headline agreement does provide the basis for improvement in some important areas, including separate collection of biowaste, stronger implementation of the Waste Hierarchy, provisions to restrict single-use plastics, and minimum requirements for extended producer responsibility schemes,” says CIWM chief executive Dr Colin Church.

“The certainty provided to the sector from recycling targets – whatever you think of the level – is welcome, although the implications of the method of calculation will need to be worked through. Achieving even 65% by 2035 will require strong action on demand-side measures to stimulate secondary material markets – a challenge that the UK government seems finally to be acknowledging. And perhaps a bright spot on the Brexit horizon might be an opportunity for the UK to devise smarter, impact-based national targets in the future that are focused on delivering better environmental outcomes beyond simple tonnage.

“Those who are disappointed not to see stronger action on reuse and waste prevention should also take heart. These imperatives are moving up the agenda thanks to a host of campaigns, initiatives and media attention, with issues such as ocean plastics stealing headlines on an almost daily basis. There are unilateral steps that EU Members can take outside the Circular Economy Package; last year, for example, Spain became the first European country to set a separate and binding national reuse target last year and Scotland broke new ground by setting a target to cut a third of all food waste in the country by 2025. The more responsible producers and retailers are coming to the table, and Michael Gove’s announcement this week that he wants to cut the total amount of plastic in circulation and reduce the number of different plastics in use shows that Westminster may also be planning to act in this space.”

More information on yesterday’s announcement can be found here and CIWM will be carrying out a more in-depth assessment as details emerge following formal approval of the Package by the European institutions later this week.


Notes to Editors:

  1. CIWM (Chartered Institution of Wastes Management) is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing around 6,000 individuals in the UK, Ireland and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non-profit making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues. More information can be found at

Press contact:
Pat Jennings
Head of Policy & Communications
Tel: 01604 620426
Mob: 07912 228260