Natural Resources & Waste

Our Work

Over the years IEEP has made significant contributions to the development and assessment of many aspects of EU waste legislation and policy. Since the first EU Waste Framework Directive was adopted in 1975, legislation has expanded dramatically to cover many specific waste streams and various areas of waste management, including landfill, hazardous waste, shipment of waste and waste statistics.

We have conducted a number of broad-scale reviews of legislation, including assessing the coherence of the EU recycling Directives and analysing the effectiveness of specific EU policies. We have also assessed measures taken by the Member States, such as economic instruments used in the waste management sector (e.g. disposal taxes and pay-as-you-throw systems) and extended producer responsibility schemes for specific waste streams (e.g. packaging, waste electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and end-of-life vehicles).

Regarding work in this area, please contact Emma Watkins.

Latest in Waste Legislation & Policy

  • Marine microplastics: IEEP contributes to report leading to UN Environment Assembly resolution

    IEEP contributed to a major international report leading to a UN Environment Assembly Resolution calling for global action on marine plastic litter and microplastics.

  • Tackling marine litter with the circular economy and the EU Plastics Strategy

    IEEP identifies how the EU Plastics Strategy and Circular Economy Action Plan provide a unique opportunity to address marine litter and its impacts.

  • Plastics, Marine Litter and the Circular Economy

    Briefing and three product fiches explore circular economy solutions for reducing the flow of plastic waste into the oceans.

  • Biofrontiers – sustainability critical to the development of advanced biofuels

    Adherence to effective and workable sustainability criteria is an essential requirement when using public support to incentivise advanced alternative fuels.

  • Greening taxes and subsidies in the Pacific

    IEEP will share its expertise on environmental taxation and the reform of environmentally harmful subsidies at a forum event on greening taxation and subsidies in the Pacific region during the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii.

  • The cascading use of woody biomass in the EU – challenges, opportunities and policy solutions

    Improving the resource efficient use of wood through cascading the resource from one use to another, requires action throughout the wood flow. Current efforts focus on recovering and re-using waste wood but more could be done with the production and utilisation of wood processing residues and improving the balancing between the material and energy use of wood.

  • Mapping study on the cascading use of wood products

    Promoting the cascading use of wood through policy is one approach to improve resource efficiency and increase the overall availability of wood for use in a variety of sectors.

  • The importance of tackling environmental crime

    IEEP supported the final conference of the EU EFFACE project, focusing on the importance of adopting improved measures to tackle environmental crime.

  • Quantified impacts and costs of environmental crime

    As part of the European Union Action to Fight Environmental Crime (EFFACE) project, IEEP researchers have examined the impacts of illegal e-waste shipments from the European Union to China.

  • How to stimulate a bio-economy based on waste? – A study for the UK Government

    Waste resources have the potential to provide a core component of developing bio-economies across the globe. A new IEEP report reviews how waste has been incorporated into existing bio-economy strategies, and the conditions that have enabled this.

  • New open access book on marine litter

    A new book, 'Marine Anthropogenic Litter', has been published comprising 16 chapters on various aspects of the complex issue of litter in the world’s oceans. Researchers from IEEP contributed a chapter on the economics of marine litter. The whole book is free to view online.

  • Tackling environmental crime

    A workshop on environmental crime was held on 25 March in Granada, Spain, with Andrea Illes from IEEP providing insights into illegal e-waste shipments from the EU to China.

  • Case studies focusing on different types of environmental crime

    IEEP, as being part of a 40-months EU-funded research project, produced three case studies focusing on illegal e-waste shipment, illegal localised pollution incidents and illegal fishing.

  • The Manual: Chapter 6 - Waste

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter on EU waste policies focuses on the management of waste, the environmental requirements with which waste management installations must comply and the big picture policy initiatives focused on waste.

  • The Manual: Chapter 7 - Resource use

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter illustrates the variety of EU laws, policies and guidance documents that have been adopted to improve the efficiency of our use of natural resources and to reduce environmental impacts throughout a product's life cycle.

  • The Manual: Chapter 13 - Sectoral policies

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter sets out the development of some of the most important links between EU environmental policy and other policy areas, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, transport, trade, and so on.

  • Environmental policy and the UK’s review of the EU Balance of Competences

    The UK Government’s Balance of Competences review has now taken evidence on 25 subject areas, including the 6 with the most relevance for the Environment. We take stock of the IEEP’s contributions, and consider what a possible UK renegotiation might mean for the environment.

  • Steps towards greening in the EU

    Despite some positive steps, further efforts are needed to achieve the transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient Europe.

  • How to improve EU legislation to tackle marine litter

    This study analyses many different pieces of EU legislation to determine their relevance to marine litter, examinine their deficiencies and gaps, and propose options for improvement. Generally the gaps consist of the need for better implementation and enforcement, and increased ambition of current requirements.

  • What do we mean by Green Economy?

    What is the Green Economy? What policy actions can contribute to achieving it? And how have EU-funded research projects supported these actions?