Five waste disposal reforms to create EU circular economy

The European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) has published its six-year strategy for achieving a circular economy throughout Europe.

Driving the Circular Economy, launched in Brussels, outlines a variety of sustainability and waste-management improvements for European policy makers.

The Strategy was welcomed by the EU’s outgoing Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik, who said: “The role of the waste management sector is crucial in the transition towards a circular economy.”

“We want an economy where virtually nothing is wasted, where we get far more value from resources by designing products which last longer; which can be easily repaired; reused; remanufactured; and which eventually can be recycled or safely returned to the environment.”

FEADs key strategic targets for the EU:

1) Strengthen recyclability in product design and manufacture. 80% of the environmental impact of products is determined at their design stage, providing an excellent opportunity for Europe to take the lead in smart eco-design.

2) Make public waste disposal contracts an open competition. Many member states grant exclusive rights to municipalities or public waste management entities, but an open tender process could find a contractor who can deliver the most sustainable outcome.

3) Adopt eco-labelling rules which enable consumers to choose recycled products.

4) Improve statistics on raw material and waste flows, as current decision making is hampered by poor data and unclear definitions.

5) Take strong action against illegal disposal of waste.

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Brad Allen

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