Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference Summary
The implementation of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and launching a European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform
On 9 and 10 March 2017, the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee co-organised a Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference with a view to discussing the implementation of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and launching a European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. This conference followed the publication by the European Commission of a report on the CEAP one year after its adoption. The report highlighted main progress made so far and the developments in the pipeline for the near future.
The first day of the conference focused on showcasing key deliverables already achieved on debating future deliverables with stakeholders.
During the second day, the process leading to a Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform was officially launched.
The Platform will contribute to achieving the transition towards a circular economy, by facilitating exchange of knowledge, processes, best practices and problem-solving solutions, as much as providing for better feedback towards policymakers. It should ensure that the deep and sometimes highly technical transformations that a circular economy requires can be put in place smoothly to the benefit of all.
“Building a circular economy for Europe is a key priority for this Commission. We have made good progress and are planning new initiatives in 2017. We are closing the loop of design, production, consumption, and waste management, thereby creating a green, circular and competitive Europe.“
Implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan
One year after adopting its Circular Economy Package, the Commission reports on the delivery and progress of key initiatives of its 2015 Action Plan: Report on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan and annex.
Together with the report, the Commission also:
- took further measures by establishing a Circular Economy Finance Support Platform with the European Investment Bank (EIB) bringing together investors and innovators
- issued guidance to Member States on converting waste to energy: Communication on the role of waste-to-energy
- proposed a targeted improvement of legislation on certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment: Proposal for amending RoHS Directive, impact assessment and executive summary of the impact assessment.
Key iniatives for 2017
The Commission will continue to deliver on the Circular Economy Action Plan. This will include the presentation of a strategy for plastics in the circular economy, an assessment of options for the improved interface between chemicals, products and waste legislation, a legislative proposal on water reuse and a monitoring framework on circular economy.
Closing the loop – An EU action plan for the Circular Economy
The European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package, which includes revised legislative proposals on waste to stimulate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.
The Circular Economy Package consists of an EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy that establishes a concrete and ambitious programme of action, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials. The annex to the action plan sets out the timeline when the actions will be completed.
The proposed actions will contribute to “closing the loop” of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, and bring benefits for both the environment and the economy.
“Building on the achievements of the Juncker Investment Plan, I am pleased that we can again work with the EIB to match investors with innovators. Our goal is to upscale investment, both public and private, in the circular economy. It very often means new business model and they may require new, innovative ways of financing. This new Platform is an excellent tool to raise awareness of the circular economy projects’ immense business potential and, consequently, draw in more funding for their financing. The Circular Economy is an important element to modernise the European economy and we are on track to deliver this sustainable change.”
The revised legislative proposals on waste set clear targets for reduction of waste and establish an ambitious and credible long-term path for waste management and recycling. Key elements of the revised waste proposal include:
- A common EU target for recycling 65% of municipal waste by 2030;
- A common EU target for recycling 75% of packaging waste by 2030;
- A binding landfill target to reduce landfill to maximum of 10% of municipal waste by 2030;
- A ban on landfilling of separately collected waste;
- Promotion of economic instruments to discourage landfilling ;
- Simplified and improved definitions and harmonised calculation methods for recycling rates throughout the EU;
- Concrete measures to promote re-use and stimulate industrial symbiosis – turning one industry’s by-product into another industry’s raw material;
- Economic incentives for producers to put greener products on the market and support recovery and recycling schemes (eg for packaging, batteries, electric and electronic equipments, vehicles).
The following legislative proposals on waste have been adopted:
- Proposed Directive on Waste
- Annex to proposed Directive on Waste
- Proposed Directive on Packaging Waste
- Annex to proposed Directive on Packaging Waste
- Proposed Directive on Landfill
- Proposed Directive on electrical and electronic waste, on end-of-life vehicles, and batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators
- Analytical note on waste management targets
- Staff Working Document – Implementation Plan
“The EIB is pleased to join forces with the European Commission and use our combined financial firepower and expertise to make our economies more circular. As the world’s largest multilateral climate action lender with over EUR 19 billion of dedicated financing last year, we see the circular economy as key to reversing the course of climate change, making more sustainable use of our planet’s scarce resources, and contributing to Europe’s growth. To accelerate this transition, we will continue to advise and invest increasingly in innovative circular business models and new technologies as well as in more traditional resource efficiency projects. The new Circular Economy Finance Support Platform will be an essential tool to boost awareness and financing of circular economy projects.“
Benefits of the Circular Economy
The Circular economy offers an opportunity to reinvent our economy, making it more sustainable and competitive. This will bring benefits for European businesses, industries, and citizens alike. With this new plan to make Europe’s economy cleaner and more competitive, the Commission is delivering ambitious measures to cut resource use, reduce waste and boost recycling.