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Circular economy 2.0

During its Presidency of the Council of the EU, Finland wants to work towards integrating the circular economy as a central part of the next Commission’s work programme. The ‘circular economy 2.0’ package should include means to promote the sustainable use of natural resources as well as circular and sustainable products. The circular economy provides tools to reach climate targets and halt biodiversity loss. It can also contribute to opening new business opportunities, creating jobs and improving everyday life.

Objective to extend circular economy actions across all sectors

It is estimated that the use of raw materials worldwide will double by 2060. This will require significant changes to the present economic model. Annual global consumption of raw materials already amounts to more than 80 billion tonnes, and only 9% of used raw materials are reused or recycled. The circular economy should cover construction, textiles, mobility and food as well as the entire chain of production and consumption, starting from sustainable product design. This will require changes in the ways the public sector, businesses and individual citizens operate.

Finland’s aim during its Presidency is to gain political agreement within the Council about the next steps in circular economy. Key issues for negotiation include opportunities offered by product policy and digitalisation for promoting the circular economy; follow-up measures to clarify the interface between EU product and waste legislation and remove obstacles to the circular economy; circular economy strategies for key sectors; and funding in support of the circular economy.

EU delivers on Circular Economy Action Plan, still needs to step up action

In March 2019, the European Commission published a comprehensive report on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan it adopted in 2015. According to the report, the results of implementing the plan were met with great enthusiasm. Among the actions that have been completed are a revised waste legislative framework, a strategy on plastics and a directive that aims to reduce the environmental impact of selected single-use products made of plastic (Single-Use Plastics Directive).

However, the Commission acknowledges that more remains to be done in order to implement the revised waste legislation and develop markets for secondary raw materials. In addition, there is a need to speed up the work started at EU level on issues such as chemicals, the non-toxic environment, eco-innovation and eco-labelling, critical raw materials and fertilisers.

Continuing with policies and actions to support the circular economy is broadly supported by both member states, the Commission, Parliament and stakeholders.

Europan Commission press release Closing the loop: Commission delivers on Circular Economy Action Plan

Inquiries

Jaakko Kuisma, Senior Specialist, tel. +32 473 532 399, [email protected]