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“There is only one planet Earth, yet by 2050, the world will be consuming as if there were three”

Circular Economy Action Plan

That is the beginning of the introductory chapter of the new Circular Economy Action Plan of the EU Commission. How will this plan tackle the challenge? In this post, we will briefly review:

  1. Relevant ideas and elements;
  2. the Policy Framework;
  3. and the Key Value chains targeted.

Relevant ideas and elements in the #CircularEconomy Action Plan

  1. The relevance of the “Circular Economy”: scaling the current circular economy business models will be decisive to achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
  2. The EU industrial sector: its adaptation to more circular production practices and products will support a sustainable economic system in the EU.
  3. Innovative business models and digitalisation: they will be an important support to the new circular economy systems (internet of things, big data, blockchain and artificial intelligence…)
  4. SMEs and entrepreneurs: they are potential beneficiaries from the transition and from the new business opportunities.
  5. Inclusivity: all actors are necessary for the success of the plan -economic actors, consumers, citizens and civil society organisations-
  6. The need of a new policy framework: new policies need to be developed to support coherent and strong circular economy structures.
  7. Waste management: the importance of reducing waste is deeply stressed. It will be key to create a well-functioning internal market for high quality secondary raw materials in the EU.

#CircularEconomy Action Plan: Policy Framework

A coherent and cohesive Product policy framework will be developed to support new circular economy structures. It includes:

  • A legislative proposal for a sustainable product policy initiative – 2021.
  • A legislative proposal empowering consumers in the green transition – 2020.
  • Legislative and non-legislative measures establishing a new “right to repair” – 2021.
  • A legislative proposal on substantiating green claims – 2020.
  • Mandatory Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria and targets in sectoral legislation and phasing-in mandatory reporting on GPP as of 2021.
  • Review of the Industrial Emissions Directive, including the integration of circular economy practices in upcoming Best Available Techniques, reference documents as of 2021.
  • The launch of an industry-led industrial symbiosis reporting and certification system – 2022.

Key Value chains targeted

The targeted value chains are the ones that, in general, generate the highest environmental impact: waste, GHG emissions, excessive resource requirements…etc. These are:

  1. Electronics and ICT.
  2. Batteries and vehicles.
  3. Packaging.
  4. Plastics.
  5. Textiles.
  6. Construction and buildings.
  7. Food, water and nutrients.

Below there is an infographic from the EU that presets them:

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