Circular economy support systems backed

29th July 2015

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Products ,
  • Ecodesign


Jessica Evans

MEPs have backed a resolution calling on the European commission to include binding waste reduction targets, revamped ecodesign laws and measures to uncouple growth from resource use in its proposals for a circular economy.

The resolution, proposed by Finish MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, stated that a 30% increase in resource productivity across the EU by 2030 could boost GDP by nearly 1% and create two million jobs. "To make this happen, we need a set of indicators and targets," said Pietikäinen. "We need a review of existing legislation, as it fails to incorporate the value of ecosystem services. We need a broadening of the scope of the ecodesign directive [and] a renewal of the waste directive."

To tackle the problem of scarce resources, the MEPs called for extraction and use of resources to be reduced, and the link between growth and the use of natural resources severed. They also want resource efficiency indicators, including mandatory measurement of resource consumption, to be established and apply from 2018. In addition, the MEPs said the commission should set an EU-wide target to increase resource efficiency by 30% by 2030 against 2014 levels.

The vote in the European parliament came after a new report on developing a circular economy in Europe was published jointly by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the McKinsey Centre for Business and Environment and Stiftungsfonds für Umweltökonomie und Nachhaltigkeit. Growth within: a circular economy vision for a competitive Europe looked at the benefits of adopting circular economy principles when developing new technology. This approach would be worth €1.8 trillion by 2030 to the EU economy, says the report. Other outcomes include a halving of CO2 emissions compared with current levels.

The targets are due to be published by the end of the year.


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