The Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) has highlighted three priorities for the European Commission in its response to its consultation into the circular economy.
The European Commission opened a public consultation in May this year to collect views on the main policy options for developing what it’s calling an “ambitious new approach on the circular economy”.
In response to this, WRAP has highlighted the following priorities:
- The need for an EU Vision, based on whole-systems thinking
- The need for EU-wide action on food, including food waste
- The need for EU action to encourage greater use of Resource Efficient Business Models.
The Commission announced in December 2014 that it would be withdrawing the previous Circular Economy package; it stated that this would be replaced be a “new, more ambitious proposal”.
WRAP says that the starting point for such a proposal should be a vision of what Europe could be like by 2025 if ambitious action is taken to create a more circular economy across the EU, based on a holistic, whole-systems thinking approach.
It believes that having a clear EU-wide vision in place would enable the revised circular economy package to focus on the most important issues and to propose actions that are congruent to the scale of the challenges.
It suggests that the divergence in performance between Member States can at least partially be addressed through the sharing of best practice. It also believes extended producer responsibility should be broadened beyond recovery at end of life to focus on supporting other aspects of the Circular Economy.
With regards to food waste WRAP told the Commission that the package should encourage every member state to:
- develop an accurate measurement of their current food waste arisings, both in total and by sector, to provide a baseline for future action
- focus on food waste prevention actions
- recognise the holistic nature of the problem, and the need for action from all sectors of society, including government, business and consumers.
WRAP also told the Commission that Resource Efficient Business Models extract greater value from products by using them more intensively, extending their lifetime or enabling them to be re-used, increasing business resilience and reducing resource dependency.