BRUSSELS, Belgium — Figures released today show at least 500,000 new jobs would be created in Europe if countries recycled 70 percent of their waste.
Taken from a Friends of the Earth study entitled 'More Jobs, Less Waste', the report goes on to claim that recycling creates around ten times more jobs per tonne than sending rubbish to landfill or incineration.
Coming just a week after President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, called for the creation of 3 million new green jobs by 2020 in his State of the Union address, 'More Jobs, Less Waste' will no doubt prove interesting reading to the more environmentally conscientious nations.
"Our research shows that a 70 percent recycling target would create more than half a million new jobs by 2020," said Friends of the Earth Europe's Dr Michael Warhurst. "That is a significant contribution towards the 3 million green jobs that President Barroso has called for."
Currently, the EU's recycling target is 50 percent by 2020 -- significantly lower than the 70 percent figure Friends of the Earth are looking for.
Previous research conducted by the group seems to back their call further, with figures showing that by recycling materials the EU currently buries or burns, the equivalent of 148 million tonnes of climate changing emissions would be saved: comparable to taking almost 50 million cars off the road.
"Despite the economic, environmental and employment benefits of recycling more, the European Commission has up until now failed to set high enough recycling targets for Europe," added Dr Warhurst. "Europe must stop throwing valuable resources -- and the potential jobs that come with them -- in holes in the ground or sending them up in smoke in expensive incinerators."
Photo CC-licensed by timtak.