New action plan for the circular economy

11.03.2020 − 

The European Commission wants to focus more closely on product design in order to promote the transition to a circular economy. The institution seeks to decouple materials extraction from growth and to support the same materials being used and reused in the economy, said EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius at a press conference in Brussels.

The European Commission's new circular economy action plan, published on Wednesday, focuses on resource-intensive sectors, including electronics and ICT equipment. The Commission aims to improve the collection and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and to this end will also examine options for an EU-wide system to return or sell back mobile phones, tablets and chargers. Additional measures include the creation of "a genuine right to repair" for consumers and the introduction of a common charger.

The EU Commission also wants to significantly reduce the total volume of waste by 2030 and halve the amount of residual, i.e. non-recycled, municipal waste. According to Mr Sinkevičius, the Commission's aim is to ensure the full implementation of the existing EU waste legislation. Following the regular review of the Waste Framework Directive, the Commission will then propose prevention targets for specific waste streams in 2022. In the same year, the Commission also plans to propose an EU-wide harmonised model for waste collections and for product labelling to promote source-separated collection. The institution's plans for 2021 include a revision of the EU Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) and the development of "methodologies to track and minimise the presence of substances of concern in recycled material and articles made thereof".

Full coverage of the new action plan will appear in the next issue of EUWID Recycling & Waste Management (6/2020). Premium subscribers will have access to the E-Paper beginning in the afternoon of 18 March.

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