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Council of the EU adopts Directive on Waste


On 22 May, the EU adopted the Directive (EU) 2018/851 amending Directive 2008/98/EC on waste (see here the full text of the Directive).

This Directive lays down measures to protect the environment and human health by preventing or reducing the generation of waste, and improving the efficiency of resource use, which are crucial for the transition to a circular economy.

The Directive contains some specific binding and non-binding provisions on food waste and food donation, including:

  • Member States should provide incentives for the application of the waste hierarchy, including facilitation of food donation;
  • Member States should provide incentives for the collection of unsold food products at all stages of the food supply chain and for their safe redistribution, including to charitable organisations.
  • Consumer awareness of the meaning of ‘use-by’ and ‘best-before’ dates should also be improved.
  • Member States should aim to achieve an indicative Union-wide food waste reduction target of 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. By 31 December 2023, the Commission shall examine the data on food waste provided by Member States with a view to considering the feasibility of establishing a Union-wide food waste reduction target to be met by 2030.
  • Member States should establish specific food waste prevention measures, including awareness campaigns to demonstrate how to prevent food waste, in their waste prevention programmes.
  • Member States shall monitor and assess the implementation of their food waste prevention measures by measuring the levels of food waste.
  • By 31 March 2019, the Commission shall adopt, on the basis of the outcome of the work of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, a delegated act to supplement this Directive by establishing a common methodology for the uniform measurement of levels of food waste.

The Directive will enter into force on 5 July 2018, and will need to be transposed in all EU Member States‘ national legislation by 5 July 2020.

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