In a world where populations are growing, consumer demand is increasing, and natural resources are becoming scarcer and more expensive, the circular economy is the business model of the future. Designing more durable goods, recycling, repairing and reusing reduce the environmental impact and cuts consumption of new resources and costly waste disposal.

In this respect, The European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package, which includes revised legislative proposals on waste to stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.

The Circular Economy Package consists of an EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy that establishes a concrete and ambitious programme of action, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials. The annex to the action plan sets out the timeline when the actions will be completed.

The proposed actions will contribute to "closing the loop" of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, and bring benefits for both the environment and the economy.

The revised legislative proposals on waste set clear targets for reduction of waste and establish an ambitious and credible long-term path for waste management and recycling. Key elements of the revised waste proposal include:

  • A common EU target for recycling 65% of municipal waste by 2030;
  • A common EU target for recycling 75% of packaging waste by 2030
  • A binding landfill target to reduce landfill to maximum of 10% of municipal waste by 2030 etc.

Research and innovation are vital to encouraging this transition while simultaneously modernizing EU industry and making it more competitive. The objective the Circular Economy priority of Horizon 2020 is to foster economic, social and environmental prosperity – ‘living well, within the limits of our planet’ as set out in the EU's 7th Environmental Action Programme – by positioning Europe as a front runner in moving to a circular economy and society. A systemic approach to eco-innovation is intended to promote new modes of production and consumption, triggering a disruptive transformation for a resource efficient society.