European Commission publishes new Circular Economy proposal
On December 2nd the European Commission published its long awaited Circular Economy package, following the withdrawal of a previous proposal at the beginning of 2015. When withdrawing the previous proposal, the European Commission promised that it would deliver a ‘more ambitious’ proposal before the end of 2015.
EuPC welcomes this new package and many of the initiatives contained in the four legislative proposals (on Waste Framework Directive, Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive, Landfill Directive, and WEEE). However, EuPC is concerned that the level of legal clarity contained in the package is not sufficient to guide companies in Europe towards a circular economy.
Speaking on the proposal, EuPC Managing Director Alexandre Dangis stated “EuPC was hoping for more clarity and harmonisation of the EU waste acquis across EU 28 Member States, however, we fail to see a harmonised approach in the package and we therefore question the level of ambition of this new proposal on provisions on landfilling, EPR schemes and end‐of‐waste criteria.”
The proposal needs more clarity on the difference between recycling and reuse and the calculation methodology remains ambiguous. Instead of pursuing an eventual landfill ban for recyclables by 2025, as supported by EuPC, the Commission proposes a 90% reduction in landfilling of municipal waste by 2030.
The proposal also includes economic incentives for producers to put greener products on the market and support recovery and recycling schemes. Speaking on this, Dangis added that “plastics converters are constantly innovating to produce more sustainable products and are working on increasing the recovery and recycling of their products in the building and construction sector, packaging sector, automotive and many more.”
The package will now be sent to the European Parliament and the Council for scrutiny and both institutions will carry out work on their positions in the first quarter of 2016. EuPC looks forward to cooperating with the institutions to improve this proposal for a Circular Economy.