EU waste law: the challenge of better compliance

Waste is an area of policy where the European Union (EU) is very active, but there are still enormous problems in ensuring that EU waste laws are properly implemented by all the Member States. The European Commission is now discussing the draft 7th Environment Action Programme (7th EAP) and it is very important that the Commission should revisit and address persistent implementation failures as well as tackling newer environmental challenges. Full compliance with existing waste law would provide a major step forward in the transition to a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy.

Part of IEEP's DEEP series - 'Directions in European Environmental Policy' - this paper contains some ideas in the direction of full compliance, notably: the public celebration of good waste management practices in Europe through annual prizes and awards; ensuring legislation (including amendments suggested by MEPs) is accompanied by an assessment of costs from the draft stage; and using short and structured hearings in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee to investigate the implementation of individual waste laws.