April 20, 2016
The European Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella stated that the package’s implementation is “on track”.
Resource reported on Vella’s comments, which were tempered with his warning that a progress report would not be “carried out for another five years”, at a meeting of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety for the European parliament. Previously, the European Commission (EC) reported it would be axing its plans, 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.
However, Deputy Head of the European Commission’s Waste Unit, Julius Langendorff, stated that “stresses and strains” behind the deal could mean implementing it “will take more than” a year. Now, Vella has commented that “when fully implemented, the package would deliver a ‘triple win situation to society’”, through what he called “savings for EU businesses, job creation and a reduction of environmental pressures including carbon emmissions”.
He also spoke on “progress made” on the package’s action plan, referring to the previously-mentioned funding plan and on the progress reports, the first of which will “most likely be issued five years after the package’s adoption”. Despite this, “more regular updates to member states, the European parliament and stakeholders are under discussion”, and talks on waste proposals “have got off to a good start”, with member states’ view said to have been “positive”.
On eco-design, the EC is preparing a new work plan to address “energy efficiency in products but also reparability, durability, upgradability, and recyclability”, with other bodies demanding the EC make eco-design play “a determinant role” in the circular economy. Recently, the EU 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.
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