MEPs must seize opportunity to create over 800 000 jobs across Europe

Over 800,000 new jobs could be created across the EU if MEPs in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee vote for both an ambitious recycling target and to strongly support the refurbishing and reusing sectors on Tuesday (24 January), said the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).

Ambitious and intensive support from MEPs for European recycling, reusing and repairing industries could create 867,000 jobs in the EU by 2030 – enough to employ one in six of the currently unemployed young people in the bloc.

Piotr Barczak, Waste Policy Officer at the EEB, said:

Environment committee MEPs also set a target for member states to halve the amount of food wasted within the EU by 2030, but this target was only voluntary rather than binding.

“Creating new jobs and slashing marine litter are just two of the benefits that boosting recycling targets and helping the repair and reuse industries could bring. But to truly reap these rewards, MEPs must support ambitious recycling and repairing targets in this crunch vote.”

Environment Committee MEPs must demand that 70 percent of all waste created in the EU is reused or recycled by 2030, and also set a clear target for the repairing and reusing of waste.

MEPs must also act to halve the amount of marine litter the EU pumps into the world’s oceans by 2025. They can do this by phasing out unnecessary, non-reusable packaging and plastic items which are only used once, such as disposable cutlery.

MEPs can help countries failing to hit recycling targets by encouraging them to boost recycling rates more quickly. Rather than allowing them extra time to meet these targets, MEPs should support waste prevention schemes, the creation of better separate collection systems, progressive economic tools such as tax cuts for repair work and improving recycling infrastructure in these countries.


Notes to Editors

  • The European Parliament’s Environment Committee will vote on the Waste Framework Directive between 9am and 11am on Tuesday 24 January 2017. The rapporteur for the file is S&D MEP Simona Bonafe.
  • The 867,000 new jobs assessment comes from the EEB report Advancing Resource Efficiency in Europe. The European Commission’s own impact assessment estimated that Bonafe’s Directive would create 530,000 new jobs by 2030 – without taking stronger reuse and recycling incentives into consideration.
  • The 7 countries who have been granted extra time to hit recycling targets are Estonia, Greece, Croatia, Latvia, Malta, Romania and Slovakia.
  • You can find a more detailed assessment of the EEB’s position on the vote in an article and video by our policy officer on waste.

For more information:

Anton Lazarus, Communication Officer - Industrial Pollution, European Environmental Bureau,, +32 (0) 2 790 88 18.