EEB launches resource security campaign
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has launched a new campaign promoting better product design, as well as increased reuse and recycling, in a bid to reduce waste and boost resource security.
The EEB’s ‘Make Resources Count’ campaign aims to achieve ‘less waste and better product design that lowers Europe’s resource consumption’. It seeks to do this by outlining a range of actions that the European Commission (EC) can implement, as well as detailing actions that the general public can undertake.
In terms of politics, the EEB is campaigning for the EC to retain the recycling levels originally set in its first Circular Economy Package (details of the revised version of this package are expected later today, as part of a stakeholder consultation).
This would entail introducing a recycling target of 70 per cent for municipal waste, 80 per cent of all packaging waste and a ban on recyclable waste entering landfill.
‘Ecodesign could create two million jobs’
The campaign also seeks to ‘make the case’ for manufacturers to design their products so that they ‘last longer, are more repairable, reusable and recyclable’.
EEB is highlighting that ‘ecodesign measures’ already available in the EU can help extend the life of products, which in turn could ‘lead to savings in greenhouse emissions of over one million tonnes per year’ – the equivalent of taking 477,000 cars off the road.
Indeed, according to the EC, when teamed with waste prevention and reuse, ecodesign has the potential to bring net savings for EU businesses of up to €600 billion (£427 billion), while creating over ‘two million jobs across the European Union’.
As such, the campaign urges members of the public to buy ‘products that last’, fix products that they already have (and take a self portrait photograph with the repaired item with the hashtag #Fixitselfie) and reuse and recycle where possible.
Cutting resource waste in Europe is a win-win
Launching ‘Make Resources Count’ yesterday (27 May) Stéphane Arditi, the EEB’s Policy Manager for Products and Waste, said: “Cutting resource waste in Europe is a win-win opportunity for both the environment and the economy but it won’t happen by itself.
“The commission withdrew a proposal that was ambitious on recycling on the premise that it would deliver something even bolder by the end of the year. That has to mean maintaining the original recycling targets and including product design requirements to cut resource use at the design stage.”
EC Circular Economy Package
The EC first released its draft Circular Economy Package in July 2014, and proposed a headline recycling and reuse target for EC member states of 70 per cent by 2030, and an increase in recycling rate for packaging waste to 80 per cent by 2030.
This was then followed by the announcement on 16 December 2014 that the EC had withdrawn its plans to introduce the directive in a bid to resubmit ‘more ambitious’ proposals in 2015.
Although details of the revised package have not yet been released, the EC published an ‘indicative roadmap’ for its upcoming revised ‘Circular Economy Strategy’ earlier this month.
It is expected that a stakeholder consultation on the new Circular Economy Package will launch later today (28 May).