The charity called for a specific food waste policy, greater encouragement of resource efficient business models, and the creation of a ‘vision’ of what the ideal EU circular economy would look like in 2025.

The EU closed its consultation on what the circular economy package should look like on the 20 August, and is expected to present the plan by the end of 2015.

WRAPS’ first suggestion for the European Commission was the creation of specific policies for food, due to “the significant environmental impacts of the food sector and the large tonnage of food waste being created across Europe”.

The European Commission estimated that around 1000 million tonnes of food was wasted in 2013.

To counteract this, WRAP said the circular economy package should encourage member states to develop an accurate measurement of their current food waste, and “recognise the holistic nature of the problem, and the need for action from all sectors of society, including government, business and consumers”.

Second life

Secondly, WRAP called for the proliferation of resource efficient business models that can theoretically extract greater value from products by using them more intensively, extending their lifetime or enabling them to be re-used.

To help encourage these models, WRAP said the new package should include more R&D spending on consumer behaviour and new forms of finance to help encourage leasing or servitizationfor example.

Holistic approach

Finally, WRAP proposed the creation of an EU-wide vision of the ideal circular economy in 2025. This would enable the package to “focus on the most important issues and to propose actions that are congruent to the scale of the challenges,” said the consultation document.

In this section, WRAP also called for the collection of more product data, for example, tracking the Gross Value Added (GVA) per unit of primary raw material entering the system. By tracking that stat, WRAP said policy makers will be better informed about the effectiveness of various schemes.

The group added that the sharing of best practice would also be important to realising the vision.

Last week the Green Alliance also revealed its response to the consultation, saying the new package “must encourage manufacturers to design products to be longer-lasting and more repairable”.

A recent report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation claimed that a pan-European transition to a circular economy would generate around €1.8trn of benefit for European economies every year.

 EC Circular Economy Consultation: WRAP Response 

Brad Allen


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