The European Commission adopted the new circular economy action plan (CEAP) in March 2020. It is one of the main building blocks of the European Greeen Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth.
The new action plan announces initiatives along the entire life cycle of products. It targets how products are designed, promotes circular economy processes, encourages sustainable consumption, and aims to ensure that waste is prevented and the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.
Managing waste in an environmentally sound manner and making use of the secondary materials they contain comes with important challenges, but more importantly, with unprecedented opportunities. E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the EU and less than 40% is recycled, less than 1% of textiles are recycled, an estimated 20% of food is lost or wasted in the EU, and construction accounts for more than 35% of total EU waste. To reach the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goals, new technologies need to be deployed and changes need to be made accross the value chain.
European Parliament, How the EU wants to achieve a circular economy by 2050.