November 22, 2016
The EU commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, is visiting China to discuss circular economy prospects.
Eureporter reported that the first EU-China forum on circular economy will take place on 23 November, and that the topic of the talks will be how the two can further the development of the growth potential. Both have agreed to “develop circular economy projects on water, environment and the green economy”, and these pledges are concurrent with the Commission’s publication of its plans to achieve sustainable development goals.
There will be examples on display of practical ways towards the goals, such as “eco-innovation in chemicals and plastic, waste and water management”, and will show how this will positively influence marine and urban enviroments.
Vella said: “I am delighted to see that our Chinese partners share Europe’s enthusiasm for the circular economy. We recognise that promoting the circular economy as a business opportunity will be the foundation of success. It will create jobs, and even identify new sectors. It will also allow us to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The EC reported it would be axing its plans for a circular economy in January 2015, before reconsidering and revealing it would increase funding, launching a public consultation, to which both UKCRA and ETIRA contributed their views from remanufacturers. However, reports suggested it would dilute any circular economy package, and doubted their potential.
Despite this, the new package was launched in December 2015 and adopted that month, with a packaging waste recycling target of 75 percent for member states by 2030, and received a funding boost of around €24 billion ($26.3 billion) from the EU soon after. Deputy Head of the European Commission’s Waste Unit, Julius Langendorff, stated it “will take more than” a year to implement, though it was said to be “progressing well” in April, before being questioned again in June.
The EU had also previously revealed it was planning “tough” enforcement of the circular economy package, while other areas of the EU warned earlier this year that the package could be seen as a “threat” to certain stakeholders. One recent development saw Germany allegedly plan to “call for removal of EU recycling targets”, though rumours suggested the plan could be approved early next year, and recently concerns were raised that it might be “watered down”.
In the last month, the Commission approved a further investment of €222.7 million ($246.1 million) into the circular economy package, while a report by the EU analysed circular economy business practices and “suggests regulatory actions to unlock full growth potential”.
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