Biowaste recycling is becoming increasingly important in the European Union. The revised Waste Framework Directive (WFD) drives both the prevention and the sustainable management of biowaste in all EU member states. To minimize its negative environmental impact and to capture its full potential as a valuable resource, biowaste needs to be collected separately at source whilst keeping impurity levels low. While contamination with plastics is a growing concern, compostable Bioska biobags and sacks provide plastic-free solution for collecting biowaste.
Tightening EU regulation
To encourage recycling across the continent, the EU is implementing new regulation. In 2020, the overall recycling rate of municipal waste in the EU was 48 % (EUROSTAT, 2022). By 2025, member states will need to reach a recycling rate of 55 % and by 2035 already as high as 65 %. As biowaste is the largest single component of municipal waste in member states, recycling of biowaste is key for meeting these binding targets (EEA, 2020).
Currently, only about 40% of biowaste is recycled in the EU economy (ECN, 2020). As laid down in the WFD, all member states are obliged to collect biowaste separately or ensure recycling at source by the end of 2023. Implementation of separate collection is a precondition for high-quality recycling and well-functioning circular economy. Still, even in countries with well-established separate collection, a high proportion of biowaste ends up in the mixed waste that is either landfilled or incinerated (EEA, 2020).
Therefore, in creating a successful separate collection system, countries need their people to use that system, too.
Calling for companies
For people to separate biowaste, whether at home, office or at a public property, it should be made easy, motivating, and accessible. These are achieved by providing information, coordinating awareness-raising activities, and matching clean containers to the volume of biowaste.
Providing information: More and more plastic consumer products are labelled as ‘biodegradable’ or ‘natural’ with a proliferation of other labels. This creates risks of confusing consumers, contaminating compost, and increasing the costs of treatment. Place clear instructions for what is allowed in the biowaste bin in all necessary languages and preferably with illustrative images.
Coordinating awareness-raising activities: When we get to learn about biowaste as a valuable raw material, the more motivating it is to dispose it correctly. As one of the key waste streams in circular economy, biowaste delivers valuable soil-improving material and high-quality fertilizer as well as biogas, a source of renewable energy. All of which are highly important in today’s economy.
Matching clean containers to the volume of biowaste: Well-fitting biobags with good moisture retention help to keep biowaste containers clean. Clean containers prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. They also minimize unpleasant odors and improve the overall aesthetics of the waste disposal area, which is a major factor for many users. By keeping biowaste containers clean, we can also make the job of waste workers a little bit easier and safer.
We encourage companies and other facility managers to apply these actions as part of their waste management strategy. This way we can ensure that the EU stays on track to meet its target of recycling at least 50 % of its biowaste by 2030.
Most companies and citizens in the EU member states will need to change their daily practices when it comes to reducing and recycling biowaste in the upcoming year. If you or your company needs compostable solutions for collecting biowaste, please contact our people at Bioska. Since 1997, Bioska has helped companies and consumers to recycle biowaste so that produce could rejoin the cycle of nature.
Bioska – For sustainable daily life