EU circularity ambitions reaffirmed in Recovery Plan

The European Commission has published the Recovery Plan for Europe reaffirming its commitment to a circular economy transition after the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The Recovery Plan published Wednesday (27 May) is a two-fold response, composed of Next Generation EU— a new recovery investment of €750 billion which will boost the EU budget with new financing raised on the financial markets in the next three years —and a reinforced long-term budget of the EU for 2021-2027.

On 11 March, the commission released its new Circular Economy Action Plan outlining a set of initiatives aimed to establish a sustainable framework for products, services and business models and make products easier to reuse, repair and recycle. Forming part of the European Green Deal which sets out to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, it was praised by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) as the ‘most ambitious and comprehensive proposal ever put forward’.

Earlier this month, a coalition of three European waste management trade associations pressed the European Commission to ‘safeguard’ the waste management provisions outlined in the Green Deal in a post-coronavirus recovery.

Yesterday’s plan reiterates the EU’s commitment to circularity, and its objectives to reduce Europe’s dependency on foreign materials by preventing waste, boosting recycling and increasing the use of secondary raw materials.

By helping ‘the EU reduce its dependency on external suppliers’ it believes it can ‘‘increase [Europe’s] resilience to global supply issues.’ It outlines how implementing the circular economy could create at least 700,000 news jobs by 2030.

Moreover, the European Commission’s strategy alludes to a new Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials, which would aim to strengthen crucial markets in a sustainable way for e-mobility, batteries, renewable energies, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, defence and digital applications.  

The sector breakdown for the green transformation outlines that €240 billion additional annual investment will be given to current 2030 climate and energy targets. An additional €130 billion annually will be allocated to support wider environmental objectives, within this a supplementary annual €15 billion investment supporting the transition to a circular economy.

You can read more on the Recovery Plan for Europe and the Circular Economy Action Plan on the EU Commission’s website.