Circular economy: European Council adopts conclusions
Today, 25 June 2018, the Council has adopted the following conclusions on delivering on the EU action plan for the circular economy.These are some of the main conclusions:
– The crucial importance of resource efficiency for the transition to a Circular Economy to maintain the value of products, materials and resources in the economy for as long as possible and to prevent and minimise the generation of waste; emphasises that there is a clear business case to transform the way plastic, plastic products and products that include plastic parts are designed, produced, used and recycled in the EU, and to reconsider consumption habits and to avoid unnecessary uses, and RECALLS that an increased recycling capacity in the EU will contribute to a decrease in plastic pollution, thereby also reducing CO2 emissions, and will also bring new investment and job opportunities.
– The market for recycled materials and products must develop considerably and that only the increased demand for secondary raw materials can ensure the economic sustainability of the collection, sorting and recycling systems.
– Only the use of materials suitable for recycling can secure the profitability of the recycling process and facilitate investments; ENCOURAGES to this effect the eco-design of plastic and plastic
products to take account of reuse and recycling requirements from the design phase on; in this regard is looking forward to the revision and strengthening of the essential requirements for placing packaging on the market; CALLS ON the Commission to deliver as soon as possible an integrated product policy framework, as announced in the EU Action Plan 25, and to broaden the principle of eco-design to all product groups with appropriate product regulation;
– The high quality and safety of recovered plastics is essential and thus calls upon the Commission to speed up the development of quality standards for sorted plastics waste and recycled plastics in order to enhance trust in recycled plastics markets; recognises that the improvement of the sorting and the decontamination of waste remains a prerequisite for increasing the recycling of plastic and plastic products; in this regard supports the Commission in developing guidance to allow for more standardised and effective practices regarding separate collection and sorting of waste across the EU; underlines the role of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes, primary sorting systems for different waste streams and deposit systems to boost high-quality separate collection and engage producers over the whole product life cycle in order to promote innovation and value chain cooperation.
– The Commission will try to ensure the enhancement and effectiveness of existing EU instruments relevant for rewarding eco-innovation in product design and innovation in reusing, sorting and recycling; in this regard calls upon the Commission and the Member States to explore the opportunities for and enhance the use of environmental safe and sustainable alternative feedstock in plastic production, including the use of biobased renewable feedstock to reduce the contribution of the plastic to climate change; INVITES the Commission and the Member States to consider the combined use of mandatory and voluntary tools to facilitate systemic innovations.
Click here for further information about the EU action plan for the circular economy.