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Empowering Our Communities To Redesign

What should be the GHG emission reduction targets for the waste sector?

The waste sector offers an enormous potential for GHG emission reduction. As highlighted in the statement recently launched by a coalition of like-minded NGOs working in the field, the optimum increase of waste targets related to reuse/recycling, would deliver a reduction of 443 million tons of greenhouse gas between 2014-2030. These figures were first published in the Impact assessment of the Circular Economy Package, (2014 version).

Despite this remarkable figure, the EU Climate and Energy Package has so far failed to take notice and advantage of this mitigation opportunity in the waste sector.

This package, which has focused on making the EU ETS a functional tool above all, includes a not so-well-known tool called the ‘Effort-Sharing Decision’, which aims at reducing GHG emissions in those sectors that are not included under the EU ETS, such as waste, agriculture, transport and buildings. In this way, under the Effort Sharing Decision, EU Member States are committed to reducing GHG emissions in the waste sector, amongst others.

‘What a great idea!’, you may be thinking. Indeed! Reducing, reusing and recycling are crucial strategies in the battle against climate change, because they avoid greenhouse gas emissions directly (reducing emissions from landfills) and also indirectly by cutting emissions from industrial production processes. The energy and resources saved by using recycled feed-stocks rather than producing new plastics, paper, glass etc., coupled with the methane emissions avoided by not dumping the old materials in landfill sites, can massively cut GHG emissions.

That said, it’s unclear yet what targets will the Effort Sharing Decision set for the waste sector. The European Commission is currently holding a consultation to prepare the legislative proposal that will make the Effort Sharing Decision a binding instrument and will hopefully drive mitigation in the non- EU ETS sectors.

What would be our recommendation? Well, at least, even if it were just for policy coherence sake an harmonization across legislative packages, the Effort Sharing decision would set up GHG emission reduction targets in the waste sector that would be no less ambitious than targets considered in the Circular Economy Package. Having less ambitious targets would just turn the ESD into a pointless tool and would make the EU miss the opportunity to reinforce positive drivers in the waste sector, both to enhance resource efficiency and climate change mitigation.

In brief, and to start with, the ESD for the waste sector should consider that the optimum increase of waste targets related to reuse/recycling would deliver a reduction of 443 million tons of greenhouse gas between 2014-2030, according to the Impact assessment of the Circular Economy Package, (2014 version), as mentioned above.

Could someone just do the maths and ensure that the ESD would set up targets no lower than that?

 

 


Targets proposed by the European Commission in the Circular Economy Package (2014 version) related to reuse/recycling that would deliver a reduction of 443 million tons of greenhouse gas between 2014-2030.  

Increase the recycling/reuse target for municipal waste:

Low: 60% reuse/recycling target by 2030; 50% by 2025

High: 70% reuse/recycling target by 2030; 60% by 2025

Increase the re-use/recycling targets for packaging waste:

Increased material based targets between 2020 and 2030 (80% overall reuse/recycling)

Variant: specific separate target for nonferrous metals (‘metal split’)

Phasing out landfilling of recoverable municipal waste

Ban on plastic/paper/glass/metals by 2025 (max 25% landfilling), global ban by 2030 (max 5%)


New case study: The story of Ljubljana, first Zero Waste capital in Europe!

This case study proves that high recycling targets are not only feasible, they also save money and create jobs

Zero Waste Europe publishes today a new case study showing the impressive transition of Ljubljana towards zero waste. The Slovenian capital is the first capital in Europe to declare the Zero Waste goal and today separately collects 61% of its municipal waste. It should be recalled that Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004 and before then it didn’t have proper waste separate collection in place.

Executive Director of ZWE, Joan-Marc Simon said “The case study of Ljubljana proves that it is possible for newest member states to reach most ambitius recycling targets in only a decade whilst keeping record low waste generation and costs. There is no reason for other Eu capitals or for the EU policy-makers to aim at less than what this experience proves as being possible and desirable.”

Snaga is the public company managing waste in Ljubljana and in 9 suburban municipalities serving around 380.000 residents. In average they have reached levels of source separation of 61% whilst generating only 121kg of non-recyclable waste per inhabitant and year. In contrast, the EU average level of source separation is 42% and a 285kg per inhabitant and year of residual waste.

In less than ten years, Ljubljana has become a frontrunner and is now 20% above the EU’s recycling rate and 10 points above EU’s 2020 targets. Furthermore, Ljubljana is committed to halving the amount of residuals and increasing separate collection to 78% by 2025.

Ljubljana has avoided incineration, while proving that going towards zero waste is completely feasible in a very short time. At the same time, it has made once again evident that effective door-to-door separate collection don’t only fall in the realm of small villages, but also work in large cities. Ljubljana has, therefore, managed to become the best performing EU capital, keeping one of the lowest waste management cost in Europe.

Today, these case studies show that, in contrast with the outdated idea of burning or burying our waste, preventing, reusing and recycling it create jobs and resilience, save money, and protect the environment and public health.

You can download the case study here.

ENDS

Contact:

Joan Marc Simon

info@zerowasteeurope.eu

+32 25034911

Zero Waste Europe was created to empower communities to rethink their relationship with resources. In a growing number of regions, local groups of individuals, businesses and city officials are taking significant steps towards eliminating waste in our society. Read more about us here.

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This is the last of 5 case studies published by Zero Waste Europe. If you want to learn about these amazing practices download the case studies of Capannori (Italy), Argentona (Spain), Vhrnika (Slovenia) and Contarina (Italy), and review the stories of their successes to date, providing an analysis of the key elements that allowed such impressive transition.


Progressive industry calls for an ambitious Circular Economy Policy

A group of progressive industries accounting for more than 2300 companies from all sectors, from multinationals to SMEs, have presented a joint manifesto calling for an ambitious renewed Circular Economy Package. This initiative has been led by De Groene Zaak, MVO Nederland and Circle Economy, but has been supported by other relevant stakeholders, such as the European Environmental Bureau or ACR+.

This manifesto stresses that “circular businesses are currently succeeding in spite of, rather than because of, the regulatory framework” and that further legislative and policy action is needed to bring circular economy. Among their proposals, we should highlight:

  • Strong leadership and political guidance: bringing circular economy means transforming the model of consumption and production we have had for 250. This requires a systemic approach and, thus, the new package should be an “integrated package of government measures providing systemic incentives that encourage companies to implement circular business models.”
  • Maintaineance of the initial targets and introduction of new ones: They recommend keeping the binding targets for recycling and landfilling, and create new ones on reuse. Economic incentives could complement these.
  • Discourage incineration: they recommend introducing stringent criteria to exclude incineration of household waste that can be recycled or materially recovered.
  • Shift on tax burden: the manifesto proposes shifting tax burden from labour to resources, incentivising ‘circular products’ via VAT, etc.
  • Europe’s material footprint, indicators beyond GDP: They “recommend using The Raw Material Consumption (RMC) per capita as a key indicator for resource productivity” and consider that GDP “is an inadequate linear measure of the economy”Circular economy policies need new indicators, such as the Genuine Progress Indicator.
  • Creation of a European Institute for Circular Economy that would be based on existing national examples and could boost economic research, assist policy development, define transition paths, etc.

You can find here their manifesto. Zero Waste Europe supports these measures and would be very glad to see these proposals in the new Circular Economy Package.

 

For more information:

Circle Economy

De Groene Zaak

MVO Nederland

 


Let’s clean up Europe!

Every year, millions of tonnes of litter end up in oceans, beaches, forests and elsewhere in nature. That’s why between 8th and 10th May, we celebrated the clean up Europe day within the campaign “Let’s clean up Europe”. This campaign that takes place annually intends to bring visibility and raise awareness of the problem of littering and its causes, such as poor waste management and unsustainable consumption patterns.

The event took place simultaneously all over the European Union and in five non-EU European States. Year after year, “Let’s Clean Up Europe!” manages to fight littering and to increase consciousness on the origin of the problem and how this affects the ecosystems. Let’s clean up Europe is coordinated by the European Week for Waste Reduction. Here you can find further information on the campaign, the local organizations involved and the actions that were carried out.

clean_eu

The objectionable role of the EU in the international toxics negotiations

The EU has pushed dangerous standards for three toxic flame retardant chemicals widely used in building insulation, upholstery and electronics (HBCD, PentaBDE, and OctaBDE) at the UN Conference to the Basel, the Rotterdam and the Stockholm Conventions that took place from 4 to 15 May 2015 in Geneva.

These three toxic chemicals are listed in the Stockholm Convention for global elimination. They are ubiquitous in the environment globally and can disrupt human hormone systems, creating potential adverse effects on the development of the nervous system and children’s cognitive functioning.

 

pdbe_poster_recycle_symbol_v2_0_2015-cover-1

 

The EU proposal wants to keep these toxic flame-retardants in products and recycled products such as children’s toys, food containers and soft furnishings. The main argument for this move was the protection of the European recycling industry. However, Zero Waste Europe has already argued about the importance to ensure a toxic-free Circular Economy and reinforce product policies that will drive toxics out of the cycles of materials as a way to guarantee quality recycling in the future.

“Without clean production there will be no circular economy. Bridging between products, waste and chemicals legislation is a key aspect to make it work. Keeping this flame retardants is a step back for the circular economy”, said Joan Marc Simon, ZWE’s Executive Director.

 

Precisely, Zero Waste Europe together with FOEE, ChemTrust and the EEB recently called the EU to find the right balance between encouraging recycling and avoiding re-injecting hazardous substances into the economy, and made a joint presentation of some key principles that would ensure clean, effective and sustainable circular economy, including the removal of problematic substances from products at the design stage, the full compliance with chemical legislation for products applying for end of waste criteria, and appropriate marking, amongst other key demands.

 

The EU proposal in the Geneva UN Conference would not only allow toxic recycled products to be used by consumers in the EU, but it would also impact developing countries if wastes were imported there. Thus this move would transfer a toxic burden from the Global North to the Global South where the capacity to deal with contaminated waste is generally limited, potentially increasing health problems and general wellbeing.

Sharad Vittnal Sawant, speaking on behalf of the Rotterdam Convention Alliance (ROCA)
Sharad Vittnal Sawant, speaking on behalf of the Rotterdam Convention Alliance (ROCA)

African countries expressed deep concern regarding the EU’s position in Geneva. “We do not want toxic chemicals recycled into toys for African children and we do not think EU children should be playing with them either,” said Tadesse Amera, PAN Ethiopia. “The EU already sends us e-waste and now it seems they want to increase our toxic burden.”

 

Jindrich Petrlik from Arnika Association said, “As an EU-based public interest NGO we find it shameful to see the EU violating the integrity of the Stockholm Convention, and putting economic interests before human health and the environment. This is poisoning the circular economy.”

 

 

More info, download:

 

New Study: Toxic Toy or Toxic Waste: Old POPs in New Products

http://ipen.org/documents/toxic-toy-or-toxic-waste-old-pops-new-products-summary-decision-makers

Info Graphic: Toxic Recycling: POPs in Recycled & New Products

http://ipen.org/sites/default/files/pictures/Toxic-recycling-POPs-in-new-and-recycled-products_0_0.jpg

 


WALKING THE CIRCLE: The 4 guiding pillars for a Circular Economy

Efficient material management, reduction of toxic substances, energy efficiency and economic incentives.

signatories

The Circular Economy could bring significant environmental, social and economic benefits to the European Union. In order to deliver resource efficiency, job creation, low-carbon prosperity, a healthy environment, clean production and sustainable consumption, it is necessary to take a holistic approach by working across a number of policy areas. Failure to address every aspect of the issue by developing only partial solutions will prevent the EU from enjoying the overarching benefits the circular economy can provide.

This paper highlights four key areas the undersigned NGOs believe must be addressed by the EU institutions to ensure a fully functioning circular economy, and some of the often overlooked benefits that can result.

Resource Efficiency and Zero Waste: the basis of a true circular economy

Although we live in a planet of finite resources, global extraction of resources has been rapidly increasing[1]. The European Union is a net importer of natural resources[2]; from precious metals to the water or land necessary to produce every product we consume. At the same time, our linear economic model results in 50% of Europe’s municipal waste being landfilled or incinerated, generating considerable carbon emissions[3]. Our mismanagement of natural resources causes many environmental problems: climate change, depletion of resources, the release of toxics pollutants and marine litter, to name a few. It is estimated that fully implementing the EU’s waste laws could save up to €72 billion[4].

A true circular economy would reduce both inputs in the form of resources, and outputs, in the form of waste and emissions. The EU circular economy should aim to achieve high resource efficiency, zero waste and zero emissions.

The transition to a circular economy therefore requires fundamental changes across the entire economy based on the following interdependent pillars:

Material management from extraction to waste

Europe needs to radically increase the efficiency with which it manages its material resources, as measured by a continuing reduction in resource use per capita. This can be done by progressively closing the loop with effective product and waste policies.

To tackle Europe’s resource dependency, the EU needs to measure and reduce its material, water, land and carbon footprints. The material footprint (based on Raw Material Consumption, already measured by Eurostat) should be included as an indicator in the European Semester.

Product design is fundamental to reach the goals of the circular economy. Good design can improve product and process performance, phase out hazardous materials, enable and incentivise the repair and reuse of products, and can also ensure the use of recycled and recyclable materials.

Product design-related requirements should be set by the EU in four ways: (1) through the full implementation of the Ecodesign Directive, and also its extension and adaptation to non-energy related products; (2) through the Waste Framework and Packaging and Packaging Waste Directives; (3) through existing tools such as Ecolabel, Green Public Procurement and Energy labelling and (4) through certification and standardisation tools.

A credible long-term zero waste policy is not only crucial in eliminating waste but also in creating a feedback mechanism at the end of life-cycle that allows products to be redesigned and to re-enter the economy, thus preventing them from becoming waste. Therefore, an enforceable waste hierarchy that guides activities towards prevention, reuse and recycle with ambitious targets, while promoting zero landfill and zero incineration is an absolute necessity. In addition, it is necessary to have harmonised definitions and a single measurement methodology to allow Member States to monitor the progress of each of these activities towards the common goal of zero waste.

Toxics, chemicals and health

A circular economy cannot work without clean production. Toxic substances should be avoided at the design stage to allow products and materials to circulate in a closed loop without endangering the quality of materials and the health of citizens, workers and the environment. This requires changing our approach to toxic substances so that in a circular economy, hazardous substances will not hinder the processes of reuse, repair and recycling.

This requires stronger application of REACH, and potentially more product-specific requirements, with the example of the ROHS directive; restricting substances used in new electronic equipment, as a potential model. Stronger regulations are needed to trace and minimise hazardous chemicals in products which endanger the capacity of the product or material to circulate repeatedly in the loop.

When a temporary exemption or authorisation has been granted to enable the continued presence of hazardous substances in products made from recycled material, the material should be labelled and associated with a specific marking.

Energy efficiency

The circular economy can contribute a great deal to Europe’s energy efficiency drive. There is a huge potential in preserving the energy embedded in products and materials and preventing them from becoming waste; far more than can be generated by burning or landfilling them.

New methodologies must be developed to account for, and reward, the preservation of energy embedded in products or materials. Premiums for energy from waste incineration distort markets. Therefore they should not be considered unless there is a level playing field with embedded energy conservation, including taking into account the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from prevention, reuse or recycling during comparison.

This new approach to energy management should be included in the new Energy Union strategy and be incorporated in the renewable energy and climate policies through the clean development mechanism. Although this already exists, it is currently channelling public money to finance infrastructure developments that contradict the very concept of the circular economy.

Instruments: economic incentives

Maximising resource efficiency and keeping materials circulating in the economy should be cheaper and simpler than consuming virgin resources. To facilitate this, the EU needs to change the current economic incentives that drive our linear consumption pattern.

A circular economy will require policies to make it legally and economically viable to sell services instead of goods, to sell durable goods that are repairable, reusable and upgradable, to promote shared or leased ownership, and to have a return or reuse programme. Wasteful practices should be made more expensive than these efficient ones.

To further encourage resource efficiency and zero waste, resource consumption should be made more expensive in comparison with product service, maintenance and repair operations, which should become cheaper. This would mean taxation shifting from labour to resources, especially virgin resources, as this will help to increase employment in Europe and decrease resource use while incentivising businesses to move towards circular production and consumption patterns. Reduced taxes or tax allowances for repair, reuse and refurbishment businesses, and increased taxes on single-use and hard-to-recycle materials are a way to implement this.

In addition, the European Commission should explore the effects, impacts and options of extending minimum legal product warranties. This would oblige manufacturers to bear full responsibility for any product failure during a legally determined period after purchase.

Economic instruments such as incineration and landfill taxes are needed in order to move up the waste hierarchy. Burning and landfilling recyclable or compostable materials should be banned. Public funding, including public procurement and the €300bn Juncker investment plan should be used to fund prevention, reuse and recycling infrastructure as a priority. Deposit and refund schemes are useful for educating citizens on the value of recycling, as well as ensuring the collection of commonly littered items such as beverage bottles, and can be integrated within extended producer responsibility schemes.

Overarching benefits of working on the four pillars

Economic Savings

The circular economy will help reduce costs related to extracting and transporting virgin resources. This will also reduce business resource costs; for example, the EU manufacturing sector could save up to $630 billion per year by 2025 thanks to resource-efficiency measures.[5]

The full implementation of existing EU waste legislation would save €72 billion a year by 2020,[6] and the waste package presented in July 2014 has the potential to increase these numbers significantly.

Job creation
Full implementation of existing EU waste legislation would create over 400,000 jobs.[7] The waste package presented by the European Commission in July 2014 was estimated to create an additional 180,000 direct non-delocalizable jobs by 2030.[8] The thorough implementation of the other three pillars discussed here could increase these numbers significantly.

A shift from taxing labour to taxing resources will lead to reduced labour costs for the employer and/or higher take-home pay for the employee.

The significant investments necessary for creating incineration infrastructure could instead be redirected to developing re-use centres and networks, recycling infrastructure and renewable energy, all of which require more, better quality jobs than incineration and landfilling.

Energy Savings

The circular economy will reduce the energy required for extraction of virgin materials and production. Processes that use secondary raw materials consume considerably less energy than manufacturing from virgin materials. For example, remanufacturing typically uses 85% less energy than manufacturing does.[9] More durable and reusable products and materials will result in longer life-cycles and better retention of the embedded energy of products. Further, this will reduce the need to extract and produce new materials and products, resulting in radical energy savings in extraction and production. As a result, the EU will save energy, increase resource efficiency and will reduce its import dependence on energy from third countries.

Resource Savings

Reuse of products and materials saves a considerable proportion of the resources needed to manufacture goods from virgin materials. For example, UK analysis suggests that remanufacturing saves at least 70% of materials compared to manufacturing new goods.[10]

Climate Change Mitigation

The Circular Economy will represent a significant step towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy, advancing towards the EU’s objective for 2050.

The waste package presented by the European Commission in July 2014 was estimated to have the potential to reduce emissions by 443 million tonnes of greenhouse gas between 2014 and 2030,[11] without taking into account the further changes discussed here.

Health & Well-being

Reducing hazardous chemicals in production and in products will consequently reduce the impact on human health caused by close daily contact, or from indirect exposure from emissions into the environment.

Eliminating wherever possible toxic materials at the design stage will make it easier to safely and efficiently reuse, repair and recycle those products.

Europeans will benefit from avoiding emissions caused by burning and burying waste. A reduction in crop loss, respiratory and skin diseases, infertility, certain cancers, metabolic diseases and neurological/mental health issues will result. A recent study of the health costs of certain toxic chemicals estimated an annual cost to the European Union of approximately €157 billion per year[12] and noted that this was an underestimate as only some chemicals and some diseases were included.

Reduction in marine litter

80% of marine litter results from land-based activities[13] and is a consequence of unsustainable production patterns and poor waste management. Marine litter also represents a threat to human and ecosystem health, as plastic particles are known to bioaccumulate up the food chain, and carry dangerous pathogens across oceans to new areas.

Turning our economy into a circular economy is the ultimate solution to this problem. A significant reduction in marine litter will bring about a multitude of benefits. The annual costs from marine litter in Europe have been estimated at between €259 to 694.7 million for the fisheries, tourism and recreation sectors, as well as clean-up costs for coastal municipalities. Less waste in the sea means less marine animals and birds suffering entanglement or ingestion of litter, representing savings of around €12 billion each year.[14]

The costs to the marine environment from marine litter cannot be fully quantified, but considering waste has been found in the bodies of hundreds of species, and the remotest corners of the marine environment, urgent action must be taken to prevent the problem from getting worse.

Stability of supply

Improvement of resource efficiency, by measuring and reducing our material, land, water and carbon footprints will result in member states being less dependent on imports.

The EU could also benefit from improved trade balance due to reduced imports. The Waste and Resources Action Plan estimates them as €110 billion.[15]

Greater security in resource supply, and reduced land and water consumption outside our borders, can lead to improved geopolitical relations across the world.

Agriculture

Closing the nutrients loop would allow vital components such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to return to the soil in the form of compost, effectively capturing carbon and improving crop resilience, along with increasing the water retention capacity of the soil.

Pesticide-free agriculture would allow for job creation, energy savings and potential health benefits.

Conclusion

Taking ambitious steps towards a circular economy would reduce Europe’s use of materials and energy, decrease the amount of hazardous chemicals entering our environment, and ensure a multitude of economic benefits while creating locally-based, stable employment for thousands of Europeans. A circular economy in which we not only use resources and energy more efficiently, but also consume less in total, will benefit the environment and reduce the European Union’s import dependency along with the likely threat of price shocks in the future.

Many of these ambitious steps are achievable in the short-term, and the sooner they are implemented, the greater the benefits will be. Any of these benefits would be enough on their own to commend a policy, but the positive, cumulative effects of each of these changes will be multiplied. Improving our material management will lead to greater energy efficiency, as well as economic, environmental and social benefits for European communities. The EU must not hesitate to spearhead the transition to a circular economy, for the benefit of both people and planet.

Notes

[1]According to the SERI/WU Global Material Flows Database, global extraction has increased by 118% over the past 31 years http://www.materialflows.net/trends/analyses-1980-2011/global-resource-extraction-by-material-category-1980-2011/.

[2] European Environmental Agency, Environmental Indicator Report, 2014, 30.

[3] Eurostat 2014, env_wasmun series reported that in 2013, 41.8% of EU-28 waste was recycled.

[4] Bio Intelligence Service for European Commission DG Environment, Implementing EU Waste Legislation for Green Growth, 2011.

[5] McKinsey & Company, Remaking the industrial economy, 2014.

[6] Bio Intelligence Service for European Commission DG Environment, Implementing EU Waste Legislation for Green Growth, 2011.

[7] Commission Staff Working Document (SWD/2014/0207 final), Impact assessment accompanying the document Proposal for reviewing the European waste management targets.

[8] Commission Staff Working Document (SWD/2014/0207 final), Impact assessment accompanying the document Proposal for reviewing the European waste management targets.

[9] KTN, Supporting Excellence in UK Remanufacturing, 2014.

[10] Next Manufacturing Revolution, The Next Manufacturing Revolution: Non-Labour Resource Productivity and its Potential for UK Manufacturing, 2013.

[11] Commission Staff Working Document (SWD/2014/0207 final), Impact assessment accompanying the document Proposal for reviewing the European waste management targets.

[12] Trasande et al, Estimating Burden and Disease Costs of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2015 Apr;100(4):1245-55.

[13] GESAMP, The State of the marine environment ,1991.

[14] Arcadis for European Commission DG Environment, Marine Litter study to support the establishment of an initial quantitative headline reduction target, 2014.

[15] WRAP, http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/wrap-outlines-%C2%A3330bn-economic-growth-potential-eu-smarter-resource-use 2013.


Press release: The 4 guiding principles for a Circular Economy

Brussels, 18 May 2015

After the withdrawal of the Circular Economy Package in February 2015, the European Commission committed itself to present a more ambitious proposal that would drive the European Union towards a truly circular economy.

Zero Waste Europe and a group of likeminded NGOs believe that, in order to create a circular economy, the new legislative package needs to focus on four interdependent pillars:

– efficient material management,

– reduction of toxic substances,

– energy efficiency,

– and economic incentives.

Joan-Marc Simon, Director of Zero Waste Europe saidIn order to reap the potential that the Circular Economy has to offer it is necessary to address material management, toxics, energy and economic incentives simultaneously. This wholistic approach is the silver bullet to trigger a multiplicator effect on employment, resource dependency, fight against climate change, health, agriculture and reduction of marine litter.”

EU policies should emphasize resource efficiency via product design related and waste policies that allow to phase out hazardous materials, enable and incentivise repaire and reuse of products and ensure the use of recycled and recyclable materials.

Toxic substances should be avoided at the design stage to allow products and materials to circulate in a closed loop without endangering the quality of materials and the health of citizens, workers and the environment. The new Circular Economy Package should therefore strengthen the REACH regulation.

EU energy policies should also be oriented towards energy preservation of prevention of re-use and recycling. The existing methodologies and premiums schemes should be revised to stop rewarding energy generation from burning waste incineration over preservation of energy embedded in products and materials.

Finally, the EU needs to change the current economic incentives that drive the linear consumption pattern in order to maximise resource efficiency and make it legally and economically viable to sell services instead of goods. Wasteful practices should be more expensive than efficient ones.

The document details how only through a coordinated and coherent policy addressing these four pillars, the European Union will be able to build a circular economy, capable of maximizing its benefits in terms of economic savings, job creation, energy and resource savings and healthier environment.

To download the document click here

ENDS

For more information:

ECOS
EEB
Friends of the Earth Europe
Health and Environment Alliance
Health Care Without Harm
Oceana
Quaker Council for European Affairs
Reloop
Rreuse
Seas-at-Risk
Surfrider Foundation
Zero Waste Europe

Contact:
Joan Marc Simon – Zero Waste Europe
news@zerowasteeurope.eu

+32 486832576