Environment Commissioner, Karmenu Vella, confirmed yesterday in a speech at the European Business Summit that the European Commission is “…about to launch an online public consultation on the main options of the [Circular Economy Package] plan”, which he added would be “significantly ambitious”.
Vella told the Summit that “…by the end of the year the Commission will present a new package on the Circular Economy”, adding “The idea is to collect the views of all the interested parties. And by that, I mean people like you – business and civil society representatives with know-how… with ideas… and ready to speak up. The same goes for the stakeholders’ conference that is planned for June 25th in Brussels, to which I warmly invite you all.”
Much has been said and written about the proposals, which date back to last summer when first introduced by the then Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik. The plans included the adoption of a 70 percent recycling target for municipal waste and had specific marine and food waste targets.
The plans were subsequently axed before the end of the year, with promises of more ambitious plans to be introduced before the end of 2015, only for several of the original plans, such as the high recycling targets, to be retained after announcements from Vella in April.
Further to the announcement about the consultation, Vella added: “The circular economy is what we should aspire to. And it will be a big step forward. But let’s remember that it is part of a bigger picture.
“Hearing your viewpoints will convince me more than ever, that the Circular Economy is the way to go. It will help us tackle some of the most urgent problems that Europe is facing today. And it makes sense from both the environment and the economics point of view.
“I can assure you the Commission initiative will be significantly ambitious. To be successful, it will need your support. Investors will have to capitalise on innovation; industry will have to be flexible and efficient; consumers will have to adopt new habits.
“Please, also spread the word inside your networks, that this is a massive challenge, and that no sector of society can opt out of it. But it will be worth it. As already mentioned, the timetable for our consultation is clear. We need you to engage with us. That will help us produce the ambitious and useful proposal later this year, as we had promised.”