The European Commission has recently published the long awaited second version of its Circular Economy Package. The first package had been published by the former Barroso Commission and had been withdrawn by the Juncker Commission shortly after taking office. However the Juncker Commission had promised to provide a new, more ambitious package by the end of 2015.
With the new Circular Economy Package, the Commission aims to increase the recycling and preparation for re-use of municipal waste in general as well as packaging waste, harmonise the calculation of collection and recycling targets throughout the Member States and reduce the landfilling of municipal waste.
For the first time, the Commission also aims to define minimum common requirements for extend producer responsibility schemes. Besides that, the package includes measures in the Ecodesign working plan for 2015-2017 to promote reparability, durability and recyclability of products, in addition to the already planned energy efficiency measures. Electrical and electronic products will be a major target for these actions.
A strategy on plastics and a report on critical raw materials shall follow in 2017. Overall, the Commission targets to carry out all necessary actions for a regulatory framework for the development of a circular economy before 2020.