Brussels, 24 March 2020 – Ecopreneur.eu welcomes the ambitions and measures proposed in the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) from the European Commission, but misses 11 key elements to make sustainable products, services and business models the norm.
We particularly welcome the overall ambition of the CEAP, including increased green public procurement, the clear link with the climate agenda, the goal to scale up the circular economy from frontrunners to mainstream economic players and to double the circular material use rate by 2030; the right to repair, attention to design and reuse, the proposed policies for products, textiles, construction, intentionally added microplastics and Persistent Organic Pollutants; the aim for increased transparency by companies substantiating their environmental claims, and a European Data Space for Smart Circular Applications.
Manfred Mühlberger, Chairman of Ecopreneur.eu, said: “The main challenge will be to translate these ambitions into implemented measures able to achieve them. The market will adapt – as long as industry gets adequate support and a clear timeline.” Depending on its realisation, the CEAP can generate some traction to low-carbon circular products and services.
However, “based on the collective experience of our 3.000 frontrunners, our main concerns is that the total set of policy instruments seems inadequate to realise its ambitions because key measures are missing to get the economics right”, adds executive director Arthur ten Wolde. To establish a strong and coherent product policy framework that will make sustainable products, services and business models the norm, 11 additional key measures are needed:
- Harmonised Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes with eco-modulation of fees in all waste-intensive sectors;
- Formation of ”Acceleration Houses” or “Circular Hubs” in all member states;
- Active engagement of green SMEs as front-runners to create a “race to the top”;
- An effective border adjustment mechanism;
- A ban on landfilling;
- A second SME impact assessment at the end of the policy making process;
- Restriction of EU subsidies for recycling to processes with net positive CO2 emissions for otherwise unrecyclable (plastic) residues;
- A mandatory gate-to-gate Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) for all companies;
- Integration of the social dimension in the Financial Taxonomy;
- A call for proposals to study the impacts of an EU circular textiles economy on the global textile industry;
- A tax shift from labour to resources.
Ecopreneur’s full response to the new Circular Economy Action Plan can be downloaded here.