The European Commission this week released details of its long awaited Circular Economy Package, following a year of redevelopment.
The Package consists of an EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy and Revised Legislative Proposals on Waste. Among the headline measures set out in the Package are a 65 per cent municipal waste recycling target for 2030, a 75 per cent packaging waste recycling target for 2030 and a binding target to reduce landfill to a maximum of 10 per cent of all waste by 2030.
The Package does refer to bio-based products, as summed up in the EC’s questions and answer document:
‘Bio-based material, such as wood, crops or fibres, can be used for a wide range of products and energy uses. Apart from providing an alternative to fossil-based products, bio-based materials are also renewable, biodegradable and compostable. At the same time, using biological resources requires attention to their lifecycle, environmental impacts and sustainable sourcing. In a circular economy, a cascading use of renewable resources should be encouraged together with its innovative potential for new materials, chemicals and processes.
The Commission will:
- promote an efficient use of bio-based resources through a series of measures, such as guidance and dissemination of best practices of the cascading use of biomass and support to innovation in the bio-economy.
- the revised legislative proposal on waste contains a target for recycling wood packaging and a provision to ensure the separate collection of bio-waste.’
In the Action Plan included in the Package the Commission outlines a number of actions regarding biomass and bio-based materials:
- Guidance and dissemination of best practice on the cascading use of biomass and support to innovation in this domain through Horizon 2020 (timetable for 2018-19)
- Ensuring coherence and synergies with the circular economy when examining the sustainability of bioenergy under the Energy Union (2016)
- Assessment of the contribution of the 2012 Bioeconomy Strategy to the circular economy and possible review (2016).
All communications and proposed amendments from the Circular Economy Package launch on Wednesday are available for download below. The Package will now pass to the European Council and European Parliament for ratification.