EU Parliament wants transition from linear to full circular economy

Members of the EU Parliament approved an action plan of the EU Commission on the circular economy.

Recycling Waste Managment circular economy

Producing less waste and reusing more - the European Parliament welcomed an action plan of the EU Comission for a more sustainable economy in a plenary session in february. In it, they call on member states, among other things, to include the circular economy in their respective Corona development plans. EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius had described a circular economy to MEPs as a triple win for people, planet and prosperity.

In concrete terms, the MEPs want to see binding targets for a decisive reduction in material consumption by 2030. In addition, the transition from a linear to a full circular economy is to be achieved within the next 30 years. The aim is to reduce waste to a minimum and use fewer primary resources. In addition to waste management, MEPs also want to focus on the design process, so that broken parts can be replaced more easily and products do not become disposable objects in the first place.

The EU Comissions new actioinplan announces initiatives along the entire life cycle of products, targeting for example their design, promoting circular economy processes, fostering sustainable consumption, and aiming to ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.

It introduces legislative and non-legislative measures targeting areas where action at the EU level brings real added value.

The new Circular Economy Action presents measures to:

  • Make sustainable products the norm in the EU;
  • Empower consumers and public buyers;
  • Focus on the sectors that use most resources and where the potential for circularity is high such as: electronics and ICT; batteries and vehicles; packaging; plastics; textiles; construction and buildings; food; water and nutrients;
  • Ensure less waste;
  • Make circularity work for people, regions and cities,
  • Lead global efforts on circular economy.

The environmental protection organization Greenpeace also welcomed the move. "In Europe and Austria, the mountains of waste have been growing rapidly for years to the detriment of the environment and the climate. What is needed now is a turnaround and a clear step-by-step plan with concrete targets that can be sanctioned - ideally starting tomorrow," said Lisa Panhuber, consumer expert at Greenpeace in Austria, calling for "swift concrete guidelines."