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Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on waste and repealing certain Directives.

Type of law
Date of original text

This Directive lays down measures to protect the environment and human health by preventing or reducing the adverse impacts of the generation and management of waste and by reducing overall impacts of resource use and improving the efficiency of such use. The Directive recalls the general environmental protection principles of precaution and sustainability, technical feasibility and economic viability, protection of resources as well as the overall environmental, human health, economic and social impacts. Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that waste management is carried out without endangering human health, without harming the environment and, in particular: (a) without risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals; (b) without causing a nuisance through noise or odours; and (c) without adversely affecting the countryside or places of special interest.
The following waste hierarchy is established as a priority order in waste prevention and management legislation and policy: (a) prevention; (b) preparing for reuse; (c) recycling; (d) other recovery, e.g. energy recovery; and (e) disposal. When applying this hierarchy, Member States shall take measures to encourage the options that deliver the best overall environmental outcome. They must also ensure that the development of waste legislation and policy is a fully transparent process, observing existing national rules about the consultation and involvement of citizens and stakeholders.
Specific provisions are laid down as regards labelling of hazardous waste, hazardous waste produced by households, waste oils and bio-waste (biodegradable garden and park waste, food and kitchen waste from households, restaurants, caterers and retail premises and comparable waste from food processing plants). Chapter IV of the Directive sets out rules governing the issue of permits to carry out waste treatment and registers to be kept by competent authorities in each Member State (establishments or undertakings which collect or transport waste on a professional basis; dealers or brokers; and establishments or undertakings which are subject to exemptions from the permit requirements).
Chapter V regards the adoption within Member States of waste management plans and waste prevention programmes. Member States shall ensure that relevant stakeholders and authorities and the general public have the opportunity to participate in the elaboration of the waste management plans and waste prevention programmes, and have access to them once elaborated.
Chemicals and Waste
Date of consolidation/reprint
An unofficial consolidated version of this Directive as amended last by Directive (EU) 2018/851 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 is attached.
Serial Imprint
Official Journal of the European Union L 312, 22 November 2008, pp. 3-30.
Source language


Legislation Amendment
Toolkit legislation
Regulatory Approach
Plastic toolkit tags
Enforcement, Extended Producer Responsibility, Hazardous waste, Labelling, Recycling, Stakeholder engagement, Verification of compliance, Waste, Waste disposal, Waste management, Waste management hierarchy, Waste prevention, Impact, Life-cycle assessment, Reuse
Implemented by