Disposal and recycling

The Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC (WFD) establishes the legal framework for waste management, including food waste. It requires member states to develop waste management plans, promote waste prevention and recycling, and set up appropriate waste infrastructure.

The Directive calls on Member States to:

  • reduce food losses at the production and distribution stages
  • reduce the amount of food waste generated by households
  • they encouraged food donations
  • monitored and evaluated the implementation of EU food waste prevention measures.
  • Measures to reduce food loss and waste also include the use of surplus food for other purposes, such as animal feed or compost.

EU member states are encouraged to implement separate collection systems for bio-waste, including food waste. Separate collection facilitates the recovery of organic waste for composting or anaerobic digestion.

The EU follows a waste hierarchy that prioritizes waste prevention and reduction over disposal. The hierarchy consists of five levels: prevention, preparation for reuse, recycling, other recovery (such as energy recovery), and disposal.