The Circular Economy Package adopted by the Commission on 2 December 2015 will help European businesses and consumers to make the transition to a stronger and more circular economy which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs. The proposed actions will contribute to ‘closing the loop’ of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, and bring benefits for both the environment and the economy. The proposals cover the full lifecycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials.
Key actions include:
- Funding of over €650 million under Horizon 2020 and €5.5 billion under the structural funds;
- Actions to reduce food waste including a common measurement methodology, improved date marking, and tools to meet the global Sustainable Development Goal to halve food waste by 2030;
- Development of quality standards for secondary raw materials to increase the confidence of operators in the single market;
- Measures in the Ecodesign working plan for 2015-2017 to promote reparability, durability and recyclability of products, in addition to energy efficiency;
- A revised Regulation on fertilisers, to facilitate the recognition of organic and waste-based fertilisers in the single market and support the role of bio-nutrients;
- A strategy on plastics in the circular economy, addressing issues of recyclability, biodegradability, the presence of hazardous substances in plastics, and the Sustainable Development Goals target for significantly reducing marine litter;
- A series of actions on water re-use including a legislative proposal on minimum requirements for the re-use of wastewater.