Commission unveils new proposals on ‘circular economy’

| December 4, 2015 | 0 Comments

greenplanetThe European Commission has unveiled new proposals on the so-called circular economy. Closer business and governmental co-operation and a long-term transitional perspective for the circular economy to be fully implemented are elements of the new package.   

It also includes an action plan for the circular economy, legislative proposals on waste, packaging waste, landfill, and electrical and electronic waste, plans to further develop the Eco-design directive.

Reacting to the proposals, Greens/EFA Vice President and environment spokesperson Bas Eickhout said: “While we welcome the fact the Commission has finally come forward with revised proposals on the circular economy, we are concerned that the plans are undermined by the lowered ambition.”

Eickhout went on: “This is contrary to the commitment by the Commission to come forward with a more ambitious proposal. A year on from the initial decision by the Commission to withdraw its original proposals, we have lost both time and ambition in the push to stimulate the circular economy at EU level.”

He added: “While the new proposal includes additional elements, it lacks crucial aspects from the withdrawn proposal. A glaring absence is the scrapping of the proposed target to increase resource efficiency at EU level by 30 % by 2030 compared with 2014 levels.”

Green environment spokesperson Davor Skrlec added: “The proposal to address ‘waste to energy’ in the context of the Energy Union is alarming. Our economy needs prevention by smart designs, more reuse and more recycling – sustainable innovation, not more incineration.”

Further comment came from BUSINESSEUROPE’s Director General Markus Beyrer who said: “The renewed approach is a good step to support business in this long-term transition agenda.

“Acceleration of the circular economy entails stronger commitment and collaborative approach involving governments, businesses and science as well as consumers and increased value chain co-operation.”

He says the implementation phase will be “critical”, adding: “In particular, concrete implementing measures must be carefully shaped to make sure the overall positive thinking of the new package is kept and not undermined by “silo approaches”.

UEAPME Secretary General Peter Faross said that “while many SMEs operating in the building or in the maintenance and repair sector are already living and supporting a circular economy on a daily basis, the regulatory framework, technical assistance and support at local level need to ensure that all SMEs are enabled to partake in such an economy.

“However, the communication also foresees elements which would increase the regulatory burden for SMEs, such as extending producer responsibility. Instead of increasing regulatory burden by extending producer responsibility, we should endorse the ‘Think Small First’, ‘Once Only’ and ‘Proportionality’ principles and subject regulatory proposals to independent ex ante and ex post impact assessments,” stressed Faross.

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Category: A Frontpage, Circular economy, Environment, EU, Greens, Waste, Waste management

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