EU asks for public advice on circular economy

The European Commissions has launched a 12-week public consultation to help inform its upcoming circular economy action plan, to be presented by the end of 2015.

Any ideas generated by the consultation will feed into a new strategy which aims to transform Europe into a “competitive resource-efficient economy”.

Frans Timmermans, who will lead the team preparing the new proposals, said: “We need to use our resources more intelligently, design our products with a view to their re-use and recycling, and set ambitious targets for waste reduction and recycling.

“Today we are asking people across Europe for their input on how to design our policies in a way that stimulates a competitive green economy in Europe and protects the environment for future generations.”

New plan

The original proposal for a Circular Economy Package was scrapped in December 2014, amid claims it only addressed ‘half the circle’.

The upcoming package will reportedly look beyond waste policy and address the full product lifecycle, taking into account the situation in all Member States, as promised in March.

It will include actions on intelligent product design, reuse and repair of products, recycling, sustainable consumption, waste policy, recycling levels, smart use of raw materials, stronger markets for secondary raw materials and specific sectorial measures.


A statement from the Commission announcing the public consultation said: “Moving towards a more circular economy can promote competitiveness and innovation by stimulating new business models and technologies as well as facilitating social innovation.

“This will make the European economy more sustainable and competitive in the long run. We want to set the conditions for the creation of more jobs without using and wasting the amount of resources we do today. This will contribute to a stronger and fairer Europe and decrease pressures on the supply of raw materials and the environment.

Research by WRAP estimates that a transition to a circular economy could generate more than 200,000 UK jobs.

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Brad Allen

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