European Commission consults on move towards circular economy

4 June 2015

The European Commission has opened a public consultation to collect views on its moves toward developing a circular economy.

The European Commission said moving towards a more circular economy would make the European economy more sustainable and competitive in the long run.

The consultation aims to help the commission pinpoint the main barriers to its development and how to overcome them.

The responses will help to prepare an action plan to be presented by the end of the year. The consultation covers areas such as waste policy, full product lifecycle, intelligent product design, reuse and repair of products, recycling, sustainable consumption, waste policy, recycling levels, smart use of raw materials and stronger markets for secondary raw materials.

The consultation said a successful transition towards a circular economy required action at all stages in the value chain, from the extraction of raw materials, through material and product design, production, distribution and consumption of goods, repair, remanufacturing and reuse schemes, to waste management and recycling.

The public, public authorities, businesses and all other interested governmental and non-governmental parties are invited to respond to questions on the transition.

The EC’s first vice-president Frans Timmermans said that Europe's future economic development must be part of a sustainable long-term agenda.

“We need to use our resources more intelligently, design our products with a view to their re-use and recycling, and set ambitious targets for waste reduction and recycling,” he said. “We are asking people across Europe for their input on how to design our policies in a way that stimulates a competitive, green economy in Europe and protects the environment for future generations."

The commission will host a stakeholders' conference in Brussels on June 25 that will feed into the consultation process, which will run until August 20. A separate public consultation on waste market distortions will also be launched soon, the commission said.


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