The European Commission has responded to the first-ever 'Green Card', proposed by the Lords EU Committee, and co-signed by chairs of committees in 15 other national parliaments and chambers of the EU, which called on the Commission to take action to reduce food waste.
The 'Green Card'
The Green Card is a new initiative by the parliaments of EU Member States which enables them to join forces to make proposals to the Commission, and thereby influence the development of EU policy. The Green Card was proposed in the EU Committee's report on The Role of National Parliaments in the EU, published in March 2014, and was supported by national parliaments in the most recent survey conducted by COSAC.
It has been estimated that 89 million tonnes of food are wasted each year in the EU, a figure which could rise to approximately 126 million tonnes by 2020 if no action is taken. The Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee addressed the issue in its 2014 report on Counting the Cost of Food Waste
The Green Card, launched by the Lords EU Committee on 22 July 2015, invited the European Commission, when tabling a new circular economy package, to adopt a strategic approach to the reduction of food waste within the EU. It was co-signed by chairs of committees in 15 other national parliaments and chambers; two committee chairs subsequently wrote to signify their support, bringing the total number of supporters to 18, out of the 41 national parliaments and chambers in the EU.
The Commission response
The Commission thanks the 16 national parliaments and chambers that signed the Green Card, and undertakes to "pay particular attention to your suggestions … including on food donation and on data collection". The Commission is expected to publish its circular economy package, including an action plan on food waste, in early December.