EU to target markets for recycled products as part of circular economy proposals


Developing a market for recycled products will be a key part of the new European Union circular economy package.

In a speech given in Brussels last week, European Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella said that a “genuine market for recyclates” will need to be created to ensure more material is used in the circular economy.

But he also wants to see “circular economy processes reflected from the extraction of raw material to the product design, production of goods and through an increasing use of secondary raw materials” with products designed to last longer, or come with repair manuals.

The Commissioner also advocated national targets for recycling that are achievable.

He added: “The new approach is two-fold. First, we will of course present a new legislative proposal on waste targets. This new proposal will use the expert knowledge already gained to be more country sensitive. I want to assure you that we will keep our EU wide goals on recycling levels.

“Our success will be measured by how well policies are implemented on the ground. So we will have to set smart, realistic objectives and focus on implementation.

“Second, to close that circle, we will prepare a roadmap for further action on the circular economy. It will consider two aspects:

–       upstream: in the production and use phase, before products become waste; and

–       – downstream: after products are no longer waste, looking at what can be done to encourage and develop a market for the recycled products.

“The work on this half of the circle will take the form of a roadmap where we identify what can be done rapidly, and what we should propose at a later stage.”

He added that both the waste targets review and the roadmap will be outlined before the end of the year.