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Level up for food and textile waste management

ECR Rapporteur Anna Zalewska’s report that aims to reduce unnecessary food and textile waste in the EU, has been adopted by an overwhelming majority by the European Parliament.

The revision will set initial targets to reduce food waste in processing, manufacturing, retail, restaurants, and households. In addition, from January 2025 Member States will have to ensure the separate collection of textile waste. “A lot of food is wasted because of carelessness or inefficiency in the supply chain. We want to change that. We want to promote the fruit and vegetables that don’t look so pretty, but are naturally grown and just as edible as the pristine ones we find on supermarket shelves. We are also taking a stand against unfair market practices and have also clarified date labelling. It will also be easier to donate unsold but consumable food”, Zalewska said.

“We are also tackling the problem of huge amounts of textile waste that could be recycled: Producers will have to pay for the collection and recycling of used textiles. Producer responsibility is the best way to prevent usable textile waste from being thrown away. We have closed loopholes by including non-household products, protective equipment, carpets and mattresses and online platforms. We have combined this with better monitoring and a requirement for better sorting of mixed municipal waste. Textiles should be separately collected.

“On this note, infrastructure to increase separate collection will be improved for all kinds of waste. Then, municipal mixed waste ought to undergo sorting, so that any materials that can be recycled, are indeed caught by this safety net, rather than being sent to the incinerator or to landfill.

“Last but not least, we are also calling for a revision of the Landfill Directive, as illegal and substandard landfills are still widespread.”

The new rules are due to be implemented in the Member States at different stages in the next coming years.

The file was adopted with 514 votes in favour, 20 against, and 91 abstentions.

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