European Parliament outlines what ambition looks like in circular economy

EEB Reactions


Brussels, 17 June 2015

The European Parliament Environment committee has sent out a strong statement to the European Commission by voting in favour of an ambitious strategy to develop a circular economy [1].

The strategy document was part of a set of proposals on waste which the Commission controversially ditched at the end of 2014 [2]. The strategy was the only part of the package which survived [2] and the MEPs who voted on it today chose to beef it up substantially.

They called for a binding 30% EU resource efficiency target, design measures which make products more recyclable, repairable and longer-lasting and put forward the idea of a mandatory EU passport for products [3]. The committee agreed to support the high recycling targets that had been proposed in the original package.

Piotr Barczak, Policy Officer for Waste at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), said: “The European Parliament has been brave, put its neck out and ambition is the battle cry. Essentially, it wants the EU to do all it can to avoid a ‘business-as-usual’ approach.

“Companies, NGOs and citizens can all see the value of adopting a new economic model which makes more careful use of our resources and limits waste. The value that is locked up in a more resource-efficient way of life is of the tune of €600 billion while over 2 million jobs could be created. These massive benefits lie in the circular economy and it’s time the Commission took them seriously.”

The Parliament’s strategy also calls for the use of indicators to measure resource consumption in Europe, including the impacts on land, water, material use and carbon footprints.


For further information please contact:

Piotr Barczak, EEB Policy Officer for Waste,, or on +32 (0) 2289 10 97

Sébastien Pant, EEB Communications Officer for Air Quality and Resource Efficiency,, or on +32  4 70 13 47 38

Notes to editors

[1] A circular economy is a model where existing materials and products are continuously re-used, repaired, refurbished and recycled, and where waste is minimised.

[2] The European Commission proposed its first Circular Economy Package in July 2014. The package included a new recycling target of 70% for municipal solid waste, an 80% recycling target for packaging waste and a ban on landfilling recyclable waste. The new Commission, which formed in October 2014, decided it would withdraw the proposal, in spite of strong support for it from the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, and promised to return with a new plan by the end of 2015.

[3] The passport for products would be able to provide information on the materials a product contains for example.