Last March the European Union approved the New Circular Economy Action Plan that aims to modify our production and consumption guidelines. The plan indicates the path towards a competitive and climate neutral economy of empowered consumers.
The new action plan aims to make our economy fit for an ecological future and strengthen our competitiveness, contemplating measures along the entire life cycle of products, while protecting the environment and giving new rights to consumers. It focuses on design and production from a circular economy perspective, aiming to ensure that the resources used are retained within the EU economy for as long as possible.
The transition to a circular economy is already underway, as pioneering companies, public authorities and consumers across Europe are embracing this sustainable model. The European Commission will make sure that the circular economy transition delivers opportunities for all, leaving no one behind. The Action Plan as part of the EU’s industrial strategy presents measures to:
- Make sustainable products the norm in the EU: The Commission will propose legislation for a sustainable products policy, to ensure that products marketed in the EU last longer, are easier to reuse, repair and recycle, and incorporate as far as possible recycled material instead of primary raw materials. Among the measures to be adopted, the directive on ecological design will be amended, expanding the typology of products affected and the requirements required. Single-use products will be restricted, premature obsolescence will be addressed, and destruction of unsold durable goods will be banned.
- Empower consumers. Consumers will receive reliable information on issues such as the repairability and durability of products that will help them make more sustainable decisions from the point of view of the environment. Consumers will benefit from a true “right to repair”.
- Focus on the sectors that use the most resources and where the potential for circularity is high, adopting concrete measures on: electronics and ICT; batteries and vehicles; packaging; plastics; textiles; construction and buildings; and food.
- Ensure less waste. The focus will be on avoiding waste altogether in the first place and to transform it into high-quality secondary resources that are integrated into an efficient secondary raw material market. The possibility of establishing a harmonized EU-wide model for separate waste collection and labelling will be explored. The Action Plan also presents measures to minimize EU waste exports and tackle illegal shipments.
At Institut Cerdà we are helping companies to interpret the new plan to their specific individual situation and see how they can anticipate its adaptation to continue maintaining their commitment to the circular economy as an essential factor in achieving a social license. Click here for more information: