Recycling and waste

Development of an EU thematic strategy on waste


Revision of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD): UK Consultation

Defra held a series of meetings with stakeholders to inform the development of the UK’s initial views on the revised WFD and to ensure they were engaged in the negotiating process. Meetings were held in London and, in association with the Devolved Administrations, in Edinburgh and Belfast. 

Defra also published a UK-wide consultation paper in autumn 2006 on the revised WFD entitled “Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on Waste”. Its purpose was to invite views on the revision of the WFD to ensure that the UK’s involvement in the negotiations on the legislation was well informed and had an evidence base which was as sound as possible. An analysis and discussion of the consultation responses is available below:

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EU negotiations on the revision of the WFD

The purpose of the consultation was to ensure that the UK’s involvement in the negotiations on the revised WFD was well informed. Responses to the consultation were taken into account in developing the UK’s position during the course of negotiations.

At the Environment Council on 28 June 2007, the Council reached political agreement on the proposed revision of the Waste Framework Directive. 

The politically agreed text was incorporated without significant amendment into the Common Position which was adopted when the Environment Council met on 20 December 2007.

The Council’s Common Position was formally communicated to the European Parliament (EP) on 21 February 2008. The Rapporteur, Caroline Jackson MEP, submitted her draft report on the Common Position to the EP’s Environment Committee on 25 February 2008.  The Environment Committee voted on 248 amendments to the Council’s Common Position tabled by the Rapporteur and MEPs on 8 April 2008 and adopted 80amendments.

    The Slovenian Presidency, acting on behalf of the Council, reached a compromise agreement with the Rapporteur on the proposed revisions to the EU Waste Framework Directive on 4 June 2008.  The EP voted to adopt the compromise agreement at its plenary session on 17 June.

    The EP formally communicated the text of the Common Position, as amended by the Parliament on 17 June, to the Environment Council on 1 October 2008.

    The Common Position text, as amended by the Parliament on 17 June, was adopted when the Environment Council met on 20 October 2008.

    Following its adoption by the Environment Council on 20 October 2008, the revised WFD will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal.  Member States will be required to “bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply” with the revised WFD within two years of its entry into force.  This means that the revised WFD’s provisions are unlikely to be transposed and implemented in the UK before December 2010.  The Department and the Devolved Administrations will consult on the transposing legislations etc... in the usual way.

    The revised WFD provides that the European Commission may introduce a range of measures by means of comitology procedure (e.g. end-of-waste criteria for specified waste streams).  These provisions will be available to the Commission from the date of the revised WFD’s entry into force.

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    Background information: development of an EU thematic strategy on waste

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    Page last modified: 22 October 2008
    Page published: 5 February 2003

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs