Sun Aug 21st, 2005 at 03:09:28 PM EST
I read following news statement about EU's new guidelines concerning waste recycling and recovery targets. It also shows the current state of EU's efforts:
The new guidelines will be considerably tougher than existing ones but there already appears to be good progress towards new goals. However, new member states are not yet part of the progress but we'll see in the future the results of these efforts.
The good news is that several of these targets have already been achieved by several members states. For example, overall recycling rates were 25% (to be raised to 55%) and actual numbers are already (in 2002):
Austria 66%, Belgium 70%, Denmark 70%, Finland 49%, France 45%, Germany 74%, Greece 33%, Ireland 35%, Italy 51%, Luxemburg 57%, Netherlands 57%, Portugal 36%, Spain 44%, Sweden 65% and UK 44%.
This is good news but it must be tempered against fact that sheer amount of waste is still increasing in Europe because amount of waste modern society creates per (increasing) GDP unit appears to be stable.
Fairly good discussion of waste and why it matters can be seen in: