The public are being invited to suggest ideas on the circular economy as the European Commission opens a consultation on its plans.
Policy options that will be included in the consultation include looking beyond waste policy to the full lifecycle of products as well as taking into account the situation in each Member States.
The consultation will look at areas including intelligent product design, reuse and repair of products, recycling, sustainable consumption, waste policy, recycling levels, smart use of raw materials, stronger markets for secondary raw materials and specific sectoral measures.
European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “Europe’s future economic development must be part of a sustainable development. There is no alternative to using our resources more intelligently, designing our products with a view to their re-use and recycling, and setting ambitious targets for waste reduction and recycling. Today we are asking people across Europe for their input on how to design our policies in a way that stimulates a competitive green economy in Europe and protects the environment for future generations.”
Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, who is the Commissioner responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness added: “Moving towards a more sustainable circular economy can create win-win solutions and provide Europe with a new competitive advantage. We want to put forward a comprehensive action plan with incentives for both consumers and businesses to use resources more efficiently. For this we need input from stakeholders in all parts of the value chains.”
Circular economy policy is being developed by First Vice-President Timmermans, with support from Commissioner Katainen, along with Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella and Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska who is responsible for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs.
The consultation will run until 20 August 2015 with full proposals published later in the year.
A stakeholder conference will also be held in Brussels on 25 June, that will feed into the process.
The consultation can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/closing_the_loop_en.htm