Circular Economy “New Order Of Things” As Potočnik Reveals Target Plans

05-06-14(1)picSpeaking at the opening of Green Week 2014, EU Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik outlined resource efficiency plans in what was described as a “package” that will “push for higher recycling rates, and a push for the elimination of landfill in waste legislation.” 

The “package” will outline higher recycling targets as well as a non-legally binding resource efficiency target linked to raw material consumption and gross domestic product (GDP).

To be unveiled to member states “soon”, the package “will have at its core a push for higher recycling rates, and a push for the elimination of landfill in waste legislation,” Potočnik said.

Legislation will be “one tool among the many” needed to create a circular economy where secondary resources are sucked back into the productive economy by demand, “in which one companies’ waste is another’s resource, in which we buy performance, not stuff.”

The package will set out how Europe should innovate for a circular economy based on life-cycle approaches and “set out the instruments needed to induce changes in design, in investments, in business models, and in markets.”

Potočnik – “I can guarantee you that any proposal for a target for resource efficiency will meet the usual cries of “not now, not yet, wait until we have more data, and a mature methodology”. But after four years of work – analysis, consultation, modelling – I can assure you that there is really no legitimate reason to delay”

Potočnik said: “I can guarantee you that any proposal for a target for resource efficiency will meet the usual cries of “not now, not yet, wait until we have more data, and a mature methodology… But after four years of work – analysis, consultation, modelling – I can assure you that there is really no legitimate reason to delay.”

Potočnik said that the outcome of this work shows that Raw Material Consumption related to GDP is the “best available proxy to give a clear political direction.”

“It is not perfect,” he said, “but then neither is GDP itself, and we are not talking here about a legally binding target.”

“We need such a target set at an achievable but aspirational level, and we should not be scared of it.”

Speaking to the delegates at Green Week 2014, Potočnik said that over the next couple of days “I think that we will all come to the conclusion that the circular economy will be the “new order of things”.

CLICK HERE for the full speech

 

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