Although municipal waste only accounts for less than a tenth of the more than 2.5 billion tonnes of waste generated in the EU every year, it is very visible and complex in nature.
During April's plenary session in Strasbourg, MEPs voted in favour of plans to update current waste management rules, including new targets for recycling, packaging and landfilling. The goal of these new rules is to promote the shift towards a more sustainable model known as the circular economy.
From 2005 to 2016 the average amount of municipal waste as measured per capita declined by 7% in the EU. However, trends can vary by country. For example, while municipal waste per capita increased in Denmark, Germany, Greece, Malta and the Czech Republic, it decreased in Bulgaria, Spain, Hungary, Romania and the Netherlands.
In absolute terms municipal waste per person was the highest in Denmark, Malta, Cyprus and Germany, while the lowest in Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.