The heads of the the Aldersgate Group, the European Environment Bureau and De Groene Zaak all urged MEPs to vote in favour of the report – ‘Resource efficiency: moving towards a circular economy’ – at the European Parliament in a vote set to be held on 8 July.

The report, from the European Parliament’s environment committee, calls on the European Commission to table a new proposal on waste prevention measures and binding waste-reduction targets to be achieved by 2025.

The report sets out an economic and environmental vision for a circular economy in Europe and calls for a 30% binding target on resource efficiency by 2030.

It also calls for ecodesign to be reinforced at a European level, to add market incentives for using recycled materials and making further use of the Green Public Procurement leverage, which would require public bodies to offer preference to products which are reused or repaired.

The report stressed that by 2050 the EU’s use of resources would have to be sustainable, creating a closed loop on non-renewable resources and phasing out toxic and harmful substances.

Lead MEP of the European environment committee and author of the report Sirpa Pietikäinen said last month: “As Europe is more dependent on imported resources than any other region in the world, moving towards a circular economy is an economic and ecological win-win scenario.”

Business case

The letter from the business groups to MEPs stated: “Moving to a more resource efficient economy is a major opportunity for the EU that must not be missed.

“Producers and the business community have a tremendous role to play, with an increasing number of companies recognising the business case for improved resource efficiency as a way of giving their businesses and the EU as a whole a unique competitive advantage.

“It is high time to create the conditions necessary to make our economy more resource efficient and competitive.”

Full circle

The report comes ahead of the European Commission’s plans to release a revised package on the circular economy later this year.

The Commission’s original proposals were scrapped last December, in favour of a ‘more ambitious’ circular economy package, which will include country-specific targets.

Last month the Ellen MacArthur Foundation valued the EU circular economy at a potential €1.8trn per year. The EU has reported that a 30% increase in resource efficiency alone could boost GDP by nearly 1% and create more than 2 million jobs. 

Matt Field

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