If Defra’s Waste Review proved anything, it’s that we are following Europe’s lead when it comes to resource management. Resource caught up with the woman charged with overseeing implementation of Europe’s waste policies, Karolina Fras
Karolina Fras is a busy woman. As Team Leader on waste management policies and legislation at the European Commission’s Environment Directorate General, she’s in charge of the technical implementation of waste directives by member states. In the past, Fras has worked on the ELV Directive and the Packaging Directive, amongst others, but the hot topic now is the revised Waste Framework Directive (rWFD). This hefty piece of legislation entered into force in 2008 and should have been transposed by all member states by December 2010.
Of course, should have happened doesn’t meant has happened, and the directorate has 13 infringement cases open against member states that have either failed to transpose the legislation entirely or only partially transposed it. (To date, the directorate is still waiting to hear from five countries, including Fras’s native Poland.) She explains: “[Member states] have to manage their own domestically generated waste in line with the waste management hierarchy, and to make sure that they do, we can use a range of measures to enforce implementation. We start with meetings with member states, talking to them, organising awareness-raising or best practice exchange events. We would like to target especially those countries that are currently not in line with the hierarchy. Then, we can take member states to court, for instance where targets are not met or if there is a blatant violation of the hierarchy. This would be the case where all waste went to landfill or incineration and there was no sign of improvement in the waste management plans.”