A circular economy
The European Commission has recently published an indicative roadmap of its upcoming circular economy strategy, which follows on from the withdrawal of the 2014 waste review proposal earlier this year. As indicated in the roadmap, the Commission plans to present a new, more ambitious legislative proposal on waste by the end of 2015, which explores synergies with other policies (such as product policies and well-functioning markets for raw materials). In addition, the new proposal is likely to be much more country specific and will aim at decreasing residual waste and increasing the use of secondary raw materials.
The strategy will also include a communication that outlines the rationale behind the approach and includes an action plan that aims to address the ‘full circle’. As noted in the roadmap, a circular economy requires action at each and every stage of a product’s lifecycle ‘from the extraction of raw materials, through material and product design, production, distribution and consumption of goods, repair, remanufacturing and re-use schemes, to waste management and recycling’. CEMBUREAU supports an approach that takes into account the full lifecycle of a product. Indeed, both the cement and concrete industry have already integrated the basic principles of a circular economy with the full lifecycle of their products. CEMBUREAU also fully supports any proposal that aims to make the most of Europe’s resources, be they primary or secondary resources, such as waste. In this respect, it is important that the package recognises and makes the most of what is already taking place in many industries. As such, all forms of recycling should be encouraged whilst at the same time assessed in order to ensure that the best environmental, social and economic outcomes are achieved.
CEMBUREAU has created an infographic on this topic, which is included below.