January 22, 2016
The report, entitled Circular economy in Europe – developing the knowledge base, was reported on by CIWM Journal, and outlined that the “transition to a circular economy” could be the area seen as threatening by stakeholders across Europe, with the study giving “attention to both the benefits and challenges of such an economic transition”. It also examined “possible ways to measure progress” and highlighted the areas “where more attention is required from research and policy”.
The so-called “threat” arises from the “frictions” found between the existing linear economy and the circular economy, with such clashes “bound to arise”, though the EEA adds that these frictions may also provide opportunities. With benefits of a circular economy potentially “considerable”, one major advantage appears to be “minimising the continent’s high and increasing dependence on imports”, which “could be a source of vulnerability” amid global price wars over resources.
Other areas in which the EU might benefit include “considerable cost savings”, more competitiveness in industry as well as increased employment opportunities, though the EEA recommends that “more information is needed to inform decision-making and combine thinking about environmental, social and economic impacts”.
Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the EEA, commented: “The concept of a circular economy has recently gained traction in European policy making as a positive, solutions-based perspective for achieving economic development while respecting environmental limits. The EEA is prepared to support the transition to a circular economy through analysis and assessments.”
The EU launched its circular economy package last December, and included a packaging waste recycling target of 75 percent for member states by 2030, before receiving a funding boost of around €24 billion ($26.3 billion) soon after.
Categories : Around the Industry