To reap the environmental and economic benefits of the circular economy, the European Union needs to fill gaps about how well waste rules are applied across the bloc. A new report shows that more than half of EU member states are lagging behind.

For municipal waste, 14 member states have been identified as at risk of missing the 2020 target of 50% recycling: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.

“With the EU waste rules recently adopted by the European Parliament and by the Council of Ministers, Europe can become the global front-runner for modern waste management and further develop its circular economy,” said Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella.

“There are still differences across Europe, but progress is necessary and possible if the respective national and local authorities implement the actions identified in this report. The Commission is there to help by offering technical assistance, structural fund support and support in the exchange of best practices.”