Monitoring EU waste law negotiations

Stack of plastic bottles for recycling against blue sky

The EU waste policy map is a tool designed by EU NGOs and their national members to monitor the negotiations on waste laws at the EU level.

If you have trouble opening the map, please use Google Chrome.

Policymakers and NGOs, along with a growing number of industries, agree that moving to a ‘circular economy’ – where waste is prevented and products reused or recycled – is the best solution for the planet and for business.

Member states met in May to define the position of the Council of the European Union. All three EU institutions – the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council – met several times in 2017 before eventually defining the final text of the new EU waste laws on 18 December.

Below is a table outlining the major agreements. Read here for more information.

The implementation of the laws agreed  in Brussels will determine  whether the EU is ready to transition to a circular economy.


A transparency problem

In May, we asked government officials whether they are going to support these much-needed proposals. Our aim is to promote an open and transparent process of decision making at the EU level, and a full transition to a circular economy.

Unlike amendments and votes in the European Parliament, where discussions are recorded and publicly available, inter-institutional negotiations take place behind closed doors. In many cases, EU citizens are prevented from knowing the position of their governments–let alone joining the debate.

Member states failing to disclose their position are therefore shown in red on the map. While their lack of transparency does not necessarily mean they will oppose the proposals in the negotiations, as civil society organisations we denounce this level of secrecy.

Evolving positions

In June, following the first round of negotiations, we gathered more information on the evolving position of EU governments.

Find out more


Timeline of the negotiations