In Italy specifically, directives have been put in place to regulate the disposal of municipal waste. These directives ensure that a certain amount of this waste every year will be composted or recycled whenever possible, and it also helps improve individual access to separate collections. Basically, this means that it should get easier for households to recycle and compost as these types of waste are collected separately from waste that should be sent to landfills.
Marine Strategy Framework Directive – This is another Italian initiative to help clean up marine waters surrounding the country. This directive focuses on frequently assessing the quality of marine water in and around the country and helping to protect and restore it whenever possible. When the quality of marine water dips below acceptable levels, the problems causing this will be addressed, which will help improve Italy’s seas significantly over the coming years.
National Waste Management Plan – This is a Greek initiative that is currently in the works. It includes waste management plans for different highly populated regions of Greece and even focuses a little bit more on the less populated areas too. This plan also helps improve the recovery, reclamation, and recycling of various types of municipal waste. Regular assessments will be a part of this plan and will help keep track of the quality of water throughout the country over the course of many years.
Environment Act 1995 – This legislation established two different organizations in parts of Europe to help improve the quality of water across the region. These organizations included the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Environment Agency of England and Wales. With these new groups in place, it became easier to monitor and assess the quality of water in these countries and to catch problems before they get too serious.
Over the past 30 years substantial progress has been made by EU Member States to improve the quality of Europe’s freshwater bodies, thanks to EU rules, in particular the EU’s Water Framework Directive, the Urban Waste Water Directive and the Drinking Water Directive. These key legislative texts underpin the EU’s commitment to improve the state of Europe’s water.
The goal of EU policies is to significantly reduce the negative impacts of pollution, over-abstraction and other pressures put on water and to ensure that a sufficient quantity of good-quality water is available for both human use and the environment. Waste water treatment and reductions in the agricultural use of nitrogen and phosphorus have led in particular to significant improvements in water quality in recent decades.
Thanks to the rules set out under EU legislation on bathing water and waste water, EU Member States have been able to tackle the contamination of bathing waters by sewage or water draining from farmland, which poses a risk to human health and water ecosystems. Today, despite the progress achieved, the overall environmental health of Europe’s many water bodies remains precarious.
The vast majority of Europe’s lakes, rivers, estuaries and coastal waters struggle to meet the EU’s minimum ‘good’ ecological status target () under the EU Water Framework Directive, according to the EEA’s recent report European waters — assessment of status and pressures 2018.