New Circular Economy Package To Include A Stronger Focus On Product Design

The European Commission has given its first indication of what its new “more ambitious” circular economy package might look like, indicating that it will have more of a focus on product design. 

The Commission says this will be better catered to the individual needs of member states.

New director general for environment, Karl Farlkenberg (pictured), told MEPs at a hearing in late January that the circular economy package will look at how to design and manufacture products that will “better support recycling efforts.”

He said he couldn’t reveal more than that at this stage, other than the Commission is attempting to analyse and understand the diversity of member states in order to put forward legislative proposals that are effectively capable of being implemented by all 28 member states of the EU.

The original circular economy package included a 70% recycling or reuse target for municipal waste by 2030, and to ban recyclable materials such as plastics, paper, metals, glass and biodegradable waste to landfill by 2025.

This was dropped at the end of last year, to be replaced with a more “ambitious proposal” by the end of 2015, according to the Commssion.

MEPs, however, reportedly remain skeptical that the Commission actually intends to issue more ambitious proposals.

Legal procedures to officially ditch the legislation should be completed in the next couple of months.

The Commssion also recently announced that its air quality package, which was also set to be axed, will now go ahead as planned, unmodified.

FEAD said this shows the Commission’s willingness to reconsider its position.

The Commission, however, has said the final decision has been taken and nothing could be foreseen that would change the executive’s mind at this stage.

Will the Commission deliver on its promise for a more ambitious circular economy package? Have your say in our reader poll.

Designing Out Waste

CIWM Journal video interview – Kirstie McIntyre of Hewlett Packard, Scott Butler of ERP and Clare Whelan OBE discuss their thoughts on designing out waste in moving towards a circular economy.


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