France, but also a majority of Member States of the European Union (EU), will probably not be able to meet part of their European objectives in terms of waste recycling. This is the observation made by Brussels in an alert report published on Thursday. France is one of the member countries for which the results are very mixed. Paris is in default on two criteria: municipal waste (thus household) and plastic packaging.
At 42.7% (in 2020), the municipal waste recycling rate is below the 55% target set by the EU for 2025. France produces an average of 530 kg per person per year , slightly above the European average.
The EU has certainly observed progress in this area, but it is leveling off… France is not the only one: eight other European states, including Spain, Sweden and Portugal, are also lagging behind.
The explanation is to be found in the small part of the separate collection of bio-waste, this organic waste, therefore food or gardening, in France. “They make up around a third of municipal waste, so if you don’t separate them, you can’t meet your recycling targets…” says a senior EU official.
Among other recommendations, Brussels suggests that France support the reuse of municipal waste.
France is doing better on packaging in general, where, in all categories (paper, cardboard, gl, etc.), it is above European targets and therefore on track to reach the rate of 65% in 2025.
Except for plastic packaging… These are recycled up to 21.4% and it will be very difficult to reach the 50% required by the EU, within two years. Twenty member states are also singled out by the EU for delays in this or that category of waste.
In question, again, the difficulties of the Hexagon to capture plastic packaging in separate collection systems. In particular, the Commission advocates deposit systems to encourage better sorting.
The lack of producer responsibility for the fate of commercial plastic packaging, unlike other categories of waste, is also an explanation.
Not top of the cl
France nevertheless obtains good points. It is a good student in terms of waste prevention thanks to the 2020 law on the fight against waste. Brussels also praises the merits of extended responsibility regimes for product producers set up by France to promote the recycling of new products (professional packaging, toys, sports equipment, etc.).
In reality, there isn’t really a top of the cl, globally, when it comes to recycling. Even if nine Member States (Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Denmark, the Netherlands and Slovenia) stand out.