Circular Economy Action Plan – The European Commission has adopted a new Circular Economy Action Plan with an aim of stimulating Europe’s transition towards a circular economy.
The new Circular Economy Action Plan would boost global competitiveness and foster sustainable economic growth.
The comprehensive report published on the 5th of March presents the main results of implementing the action plan and shows open challenges to paving the way to a climate-neutral and competitive circular economy.
Three years after adoption in 2015, the Circular Economy Action Plan can be considered completed, says the Commission, showing findings that the plan has accelerated the transition towards a circular economy in Europe and has helped put the EU back on the path of job creation.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “Circular economy is key to putting our economy onto a sustainable path and delivering on the global Sustainable Development Goals.”
The EU Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy is the first EU-wide policy framework adopting a material-specific lifecycle approach to integrate circular design and sets out a clear vision with quantified objectives at EU level.
The Commission launched a voluntary pledging campaign on recycled plastics to boost the market. 70 companies have currently made pledges which will increase the market for recycled plastics by at least 60% by 2025. There is however still a gap between supply and demand for recycled plastics, and to close this the Commission has launched the Circular Plastics Alliance of key industry stakeholders supplying and using recycled plastics.
The Circular Economy Action Plan has also “stepped up” efforts in both directions totalling more than €10 billion in public funding to the transition.
The Circular Economy Finance Support Platform has produced recommendations to improve the bankability of circular economy projects, coordinate funding activities and share good prices to stimulate further investments.
The Union have revised the waste legislative framework entered into force in July 2018 to modernise it, adding new ambitious recycling rates and clarified legal status of recycled materials.
The Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019 created by the Commission has promoted the circular design of products and energy efficiency objectives. Ecodesign and Energy Labelling measures for several products now include rules on material efficiency requirements.
Many other sectors with high environmental impact and potential for circularity could benefit from a similar holistic approach to become more circular, such as IT, furniture and food and drinks.