Growing concerns are being voiced that the EU is failing in its efforts to create more sustainable levels of resource consumption. This in turn is leading to warnings of future resource security threats.
The European Commission DG Environment Deputy Director-General Dr Alan Seatter described this pattern of consumption yesterday speaking at the House of Lords. He stated that that the volume of raw materials used in Europe is estimated to be the equivalent to approximately 16 tonnes per person each year. In addition he went on to explore this figure by stating that 6 tonnes of this goes to waste each year, with approximately half of this (3 tonnes) going to Landfill.
Whilst this position is clearly unsustainable the vulnerability of the EU resource security is also made more fragile through its heavy importing of these resources; it currently imports six times more materials than it exports.
Waste is fast becoming the greatest concern on environmental public opinion across Europe according to Dr Seatter.
When looking to the future he claimed that greater legislation was not necessary, but the implementation of existing policy which has the potential to generate up to half a million additional job opportunities in the waste and recycling sector over the next few years.
He also described the need for economic incentives, pointing to evidence from countries with greater success than the UK in waste diversion from landfill which have considerably greater landfill taxes.
Recipro sourced this article from Edie.