Brussels, 2 December 2015
The Future is looking bright. The European Commission has decided to adopt an ambitious new Circular Economy Packages to stimulate Europe’s transitions towards more sustainable economic growth which will boost global competitiveness and generate new job opportunities.
The Circular Economy Package will help European businesses and consumers to make to a circular economy stronger where resources are used in a more sustainable way. The plans will extract the maximum value and use from all raw materials, products and waste, fostering energy saving and reducing Green House Gas emissions.
The Package has broken down silos in the Commission and contributes to broad political priorities by tackling climate change and the environment while boosting job creation, economic growth, investment and social fairness. It has been prepared by a core team co-chaired by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Vice- President Jyrki Katainen with the close involvement of Commissioners Karmenu Vella and Elzbieta Bienkowska.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development, said: “Our planet and our economy cannot survive if we continue with the ‘take, make, use and throw away-approach. We need to retain precious resources and fully exploit all the economic value within them.
The circular economy is about reducing waste and protecting the environment, but it is also about a profound transformation of the way our entire economy works. By rethinking the way we produce, work and buy we can generate new opportunities and create new jobs. With today’s package, we are delivering the comprehensive framework that will truly enable this change to happen. It sets a credible and ambitious path for better waste management in Europe with supportive actions that cover the full product cycle. This mix of smart regulation and incentives at EU level will help businesses and consumers, as well as national and local authorities, to drive this transformation.”
Some key actions to be carried out under the current Commission’s mandate:
Development of quality standards for secondary raw materials to increase the confidence of operators in the single market;
Measures in the Eco design working plan for 2015-2017 to promote reparability, durability and recyclability of products, in addition to energy efficiency;
A revised Regulation on fertilizers, to facilitate the recognition of organic and waste-based fertilizers in the single market and support the role of bio-nutrients;
A strategy on plastics in the circular economy, addressing issues of recyclability, biodegradability, the presence of hazardous substances in plastics, and the Sustainable Development Goals target for significantly reducing marine litter;
A series of actions on water reuse including a legislative proposal on minimum requirements for the reuse of wastewater.
The Communication adopted today includes a clear timeline for the actions proposed and a plan for a simple and effective monitoring framework for the circular economy.
Source: European Commission Press release
Brussels, 2 December 2015