The circular economy, including new waste and recycling laws, will represent “half” of the EU’s effort to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and will be erected as “the number one priority” of the upcoming European Green Deal, according to officials.
The EU’s 2015 circular economy action plan – which included a ban on single-use plastics and new recycling targets – has “paved the way for something new, something bigger,” according to a senior official overseeing the policy area at the European Commission.
The circular economy is “the number one priority” for the European Green Deal of incoming EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, said Kęstutis Sadauskas, who is the director for circular economy and green growth at the Commission’s environment directorate.
Unveiled in December 2015, the first circular economy action plan became one of the hallmarks of the outgoing EU executive. Highlights included a ban on single-use plastic products like cutlery and food containers. And at least 70% of packaging will have to be recycled by 2030 – including 55% of plastics – under new rules brokered last year. But that was “only the beginning of the journey,” Sadauskas said at a recent EURACTIV event. Indeed, the European Commission is now preparing a second circular economy action plan that “will come out rather soon after the new Commission takes office,” he said.
The new action plan is in fact already written and ready to be pulled out of the drawer. All that’s missing is a few minor details and, most importantly, the finishing touches of the political message, EURACTIV understands.
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The circular economy is “the number one priority” for the European Green Deal of incoming EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, a senior EU official has said. [European Union, 2019 Source: EC - Audiovisual Service]