EUObserver interview: ’Paradigm shift’ needed for EU circular economy
What is needed, is “a true paradigm shift like with Copernicus or Galileo Galilei”, said Pietikainen, referring to Polish and Italian astronomers whose ideas changed how the world is viewed.
“We are not in a neutral regulatory environment … Our regulation is always a reflection of our world view. If our world view has been ’abundant, without limits’, our regulation is accordingly. It disincentivises these kind of resource-efficient ways”, she noted.
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ENDS Europe: MEPs call for incineration ban in circular economy
MEPs have called on the European Commission to ban the incineration of recyclable and biodegradable waste by 2020 as part of its new circular economy proposals.
The European Parliament’s environment committee voted on Tuesday to ask the Commission to retain ambitious recycling targets proposed by the previous EU executive.The new package should increase targets for recycling and preparation for reuse to at least 70% for municipal solid waste and 80% for packaging waste by 2030.
The proposal was withdrawn by the current Commission, which has promised to table more ambitious proposals going beyond waste targets by the end of the year.
Landfilling should be gradually reduced from 2020 onwards with a view to a 2030 ban on all landfilling with the exception of hazardous waste and some residual waste for which landfilling is the best treatment option from the point of view of the environment, MEPs said.
The committee also requested that the Commission review the Ecodesign Directive by the end of 2016 to broaden its scope beyond energy-related products. Mandatory requirements for resource efficiency should be introduced gradually, it added.
MEPs want to introduce a compulsory ‘product passport’, which could provide information about the materials contained in products.
The Commission should also develop measures to combat planned obsolescence to stop manufacturers from shortening products’ life spans to increase sales, they said.
MEPs backed the introduction of a target to increase resource efficiency by 30% from 2014 levels by 2030, with national targets for each member state. They urged the Commission to propose resource efficiency indicators to measure resource consumption from 2018.
A Commission official said last month that the new package will contain a dashboard of indicators combining scoreboards for resource efficiency and raw materials.
Industry lobby PlasticsEurope welcomed the MEPs’ call to end landfilling, arguing that no valuable materials such as plastics should be landfilled after 2025.
”Only landfill restriction for recyclable and other recoverable waste is able to provide the legal certainty required for necessary investments in waste management infrastructure,” said Karl-Foerster of PlasticsEurope.
Green groups said that MEPs had sent a strong signal to the Commission to put forward more ambitious rules that will reduce resource use in absolute terms.
The full plenary will vote on the position in July.