European Union Council adopts Waste Framework Directive

The European Union council has adopted the Waste Framework Directive. This will mean all EU states will be committed to recycling as much as half their household waste and almost three quarters of their construction waste by 2020.

The framework is intended to prevent the creation of waste, cut landfill and promote the reuse and recycling of rubbish.

The move means that EU governments will have to draw up waste prevention programmes based on a five-step hierarchy as specified by the framework. Top of the list as the preferred option is waste prevention followed by re-use, recycling, recovery and safe disposal.

Dirk Hazell, chief executive of trade association the Environmental Services Association, said: "It will now help to make Europe more economically and environmentally sustainable as we work to build Europe's recycling society."