AMDEA attended a Defra/BIS Circular Economy Package Stakeholder Workshop in January. The event was organised to consider the European Commission’s Circular Economy package announced last December.
The Circular Economy Package aims to reduce the quantity of materials consumed during a product’s lifecycle by minimising material usage by new products and maximising material recovery and re-use at the end of a product’s life. It plans to achieve this through including material efficiency measures in Ecodesign legislation and by revising waste legislation.
It is widely expected the European Parliament will argue for more ambitious targets overall, but for the time being there are 55 proposed actions plus drafts of amendments for various existing Directives. The latter comprise revisions to the Waste Framework Directive, the Packaging Directive and the Landfill Directive plus a proposed Directive to revise the Producer Responsibility Directives on end of life vehicles, batteries and WEEE.
There were differing views expressed at the meeting about almost all of the proposals. But there seems to be a widely held view that the package should aim to promote the positive opportunities for new business and jobs rather than just concentrate on waste targets. However a note of caution was sounded about the current lack of demand for recycled materials and the difficulties of selling the benefits of different ways of looking at ownership in our current consumer-led economy.