Priorities on circular economy for the next EU political cycle
- Businesses across Europe are fully engaged to maximise the value of materials, transition to circular business models and achieve a circular economy, which can be best achieved through a functioning market for secondary raw materials (SRMs) and circular products. Several challenges and untapped opportunities still remain to create such a market.
- The next EU political cycle should put more emphasis on removing inconsistencies and filling the gaps in the current policy framework, starting with a better implementation of the existing waste acquis, including more guidance to Member States and performing ex-post impact assessments on the benefits of full compliance.
- An enhanced investment strategy for SRMs can also help the market, supported by more public and private spending on innovation, education and reskilling, an effective circular public procurement strategy, and a smart eco-modulation of fees.
- Integrate circular economy thinking into other legislation to maximise its benefits, in particular in the fields of product and material design, climate change, digitalisation, bioeconomy, security of supply and waste shipments.
- A real market for SRMs requires a global level-playing field with similar regulatory frameworks and standards across the G20.
- EU leaders should collaborate with stakeholders to improve consumer engagement by reducing barriers and increasing incentives, improving awareness and knowledge on consumption behaviour and the lifecycle of materials based on a common EU methodology, and boosting the opportunities for industrial symbiosis.