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[GreenYes] Re: ACTION: Act now to stop European Union waste policy from taking a step backwards!

Title: [GreenYes] Re: ACTION: Act now to stop European Union waste policy from taking a step backwards!

Hi Gretchen,

Thanks for your inquiry. Here's the brief synopsis:

The Waste Framework Directive is a European Union law (which means it
effectively takes precedence over national law within the 27 member
countries of the EU). It is currently undergoing revision; we are nearly
at the final stage, and the EU Parliament, after having stood up for
recycling, etc. earlier, is now backing down. So we're trying to stiffen
their spines.

The danger of a weak WFD is not only that it will increase incineration
and reduce recycling in Europe; it also sets a bad example for the
entire planet. With the US doing so poorly on environmental issues
recently, many countries around the world are looking to the EU as the
leader in environmental legislation. So this will have knock-on effects
through Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

There are several bad provisions in the new legislation.

One, as you say, is that most municipal waste incinerators would be
reclassified as "recovery" rather than "disposal". It's not clear that
this would make them eligible for carbon credits, but it would undermine
recycling targets and facilitate long-distance transport of waste to big

There are many more issues:

- as proposed earlier, the WFD would enforce a legal cap on waste
generation in the EU; the current version eliminates this cap.

- it has weak, unenforceable recycling targets (governments have to show
"intention" to recycle) at levels that are lower, in some cases, than
current recycling levels.

- it creates a category of "byproducts" which would facilitate the
international transport of waste, including dumping in third world

More details can be found on our factsheet here:

I hope this helps!



EarthGB@no.address wrote:
> Dear Neil,
> I am very concerned about this, and would like to both sign the petition
> and customize my reply when I do.  The only problem is that it's not
> clear to me what the new WFD states exactly that represents a backwards
> step.
> I've heard that a new WFD was adopted, or has been proposed--I'm not
> clear which--that reclassifies incinerators as recovery, on a par with
> recycling, and that this would allow incineration to qualify as
> renewable energy for carbon credits.  Is this true?  And is this one of
> the aspects of the WFD that's being protested?
> For those of us in North America who are not as close to this issue as
> you, it would be a great help if you could give a few more specifics so
> that we can better frame a response.
> Yours for a resourceful future,
> Gretchen Brewer
> Boston, MA
> In a message dated 6/12/08 1:51:26 AM, neil@no.address writes:
>> Dear Friends,
>> The European Union is on the verge of approving a terrible new waste law
>> that will have global repercussions. Please act now to tell the European
>> Parliament to stand up for people's health and the environment! And
>> please forward widely!
>> Thank you,
>> Neil Tangri
>> Act now to stop European Union waste policy from taking a step backwards!
>> Act here:
>> The European Union is now negotiating a new Waste Framework Directive
>> which will establish waste policy for all 27 countries in the EU, and
>> affect the entire globe.
>> Although earlier votes on the law strengthened waste policy, backroom
>> deals with governments in the European Union have resulted in a
>> drastically weakened and biased proposal – even worse than the previous
>> law! This policy is set to influence governments around the globe that
>> look to the EU for environmental policy leadership, and make it harder
>> for GAIA members to improve national waste laws.
>> We have to act NOW to convince the European Parliament to stand up for
>> health and the environment, for sustainability and sensible resource
>> use. Join GAIA members around the globe in denouncing the archaic
>> proposal of directive and calling on the Parliament to reject it.
>> Act now!
> **************
> Vote for your city's best dining and nightlife. City's Best 2008.
> (

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