January 15, 2016
Baltic Times reported on the EU’s approval of its new circular economy package, which was launched last December, and included a packaging waste recycling target of 75 percent for member states by 2030, receiving a funding boost of around €24 billion ($26.3 billion) from the EU soon after. The news outlet stated that the package would bring “new business opportunities” for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and would “definitely boost job creation, economic growth and investment” in the region.
This is said to be because the circular economy is still a “somewhat unexploited business opportunity in the Baltics”, the nations of which are “highly dependent upon the co-financing of EU funds”, and the recent funding boost would help bolster this “main investment source”. Average figures for the three nations are “below” EU averages in terms of circular economy development however, with only 21 percent, 14 percent and 11 percent of municipal waste recycled in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia respectively in 2013.
Recycling figures are also “far below” the EU’s leaders, including Slovenia, Germany, Belgium and Ireland, who respectively recycle 55 percent, 47 percent and 34 percent of municipal waste. Landfill waste statistics remain poor two, with Latvia’s 83 percent and Lithuania’s 64 percent only beaten by Romania, Malta, Croatia and Greece with 97 percent, 88 percent, 85 percent and 81 percent respectively.
Estonia’s 16 percent meanwhile is only better because it incinerates 64 percent of municipal waste, while Lithuania only incinerates seven percent and Latvia “did not incinerate its waste at all”. The EU also noted that it “supports recycling, not incineration”, though if waste “is not recyclable, incineration is better than a landfill”. EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella noted that these “less-than-ideal” results are positive for the states however, as they mean “new jobs and business opportunities” will be made available as the circular economy package is introduced.
Categories : Around the Industry