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Press release: Circular economy? The new package is too weak to implement

After exiting the previous circular economy package and promising to launch a more ambitious version before the end of 2015, the European Commission has now just released a weaker circular economy package.

The package plan hopes to transform the current European linear economy into a circular economy by extending the service life of products and maintaining the value of materials in the economy as much as possible, and virtually eliminating waste.

Although the expected benefits of this transformation are huge, the proposed legislation and action plan will not be sufficient to create such systemic changes. Joan Marc Simon, Executive Director of Zero Waste Europe, commented: “The proposed package has the same scope as the previous proposal and contains some positive elements. A more ambitious proposal. Compared with the 2014 package, the new waste legislation has been watered down, and the action plan is mainly a patchwork of very vague policy recommendations, some of which are not expected until the end of the committee’s current mandate Implementation".

The legislative waste proposal is relatively similar to the 2014 proposal, but is significantly weaker. Mr. Simon said: "These include some minor improvements, such as the introduction of a residual waste monitoring system, and promotion of the reuse of WEEE, textiles and furniture. Other positive factors are the expected improvements in methodology and higher EPR program definitions and minimum requirements. Clarity, which can pave the way for better ecological design following the route outlined in the recent ZWE report on redesigning producer responsibility [1].

On the negative side, Zero Waste Europe is critical of the legislative proposal because it does not solve the problem of prevention and reuse, and even achieves the goal of eliminating food waste and reducing marine garbage. It is not so ambitious in collecting biological waste separately. Reduce waste recycling goals, and almost never avoid the "lock-in" effect caused by the "zero waste landfill" strategy [2].

"Our case study of Contarina, Ljubljana and Gipuzkoa [3] shows how to achieve +70% recycling rate and substantial waste reduction in less than 10 years, while reducing management costs and creating local jobs. We hope today The initial joint decision-making process will provide more than what the committee proposes, rather than what is feasible and necessary to move towards a circular economy." Simon concluded.

ENDS Media Contact

Joan Marc Simon, Executive Director-Zero Waste Europe +32 486 83 25 76 Comments [1] Redesign of producer responsibility: a circular economy requires a new EPR. [2] Landfill ban policy document. [3] Zero waste case study. Zero Waste Europe-Zero Waste Europe is an umbrella organization that enables communities to rethink their relationship with resources. It brings together local zero waste groups and municipalities in 20 EU countries. In addition to recycling, the Zero Waste Network aims to reduce waste generation, close material recycling, and increase employment and design waste in the system.

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