'Use of incineration will greatly undermine recycling efforts across the EU' Green MEP Jean Lambert has warned today prior to the European Parliament's revision of the EU Waste Framework Directive.
The current waste directive dates back to 1975 and Jean has said desperately needs updating to reflect the needs of the ever-increasing battle against climate change.
As Green MEP for London Jean previously condemned the decision to build the Capital's first Gasification plant, with a feedstock demand of at least 55% paper and 23% plastics. Speaking prior to the Parliament's debate on the directive today Jean said; "This review of the EU Waste Directive gives all member states a chance to develop strong waste prevention programmes, increase sustainability and reach the ultimate goal of waste reduction.
"Whilst the directive puts increased targets on waste reduction it simply can not suggest that incineration is the future solution to any waste problems the EU may have. By signing long term contracts for incinerators, demanding thousands of tonnes of waste material each year, we are in danger of locking ourselves into situations that will redirect recyclable materials away from recycling streams.
"Recent efforts to recycle across Europe have been significant over the past few years. In London current recycling rates save 10 - 15 million tonnes of CO2 per year, compared to putting the material in landfill and incinerators - a saving that equates to taking 3.5 million cars off the road. The Waste Directive now must focus on the 3R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - to be a real success."
The European Parliament, in session in Strasbourg this week, will vote on the Revision of the Waste Directive tomorrow (Tuesday 13th February 2007).
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Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.