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Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety On December 17th, the EU Environment Council, under the leadership of Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, decided among other things its position on the EU Commission’s circular economy action plan.

Environment ministers position themselves on the new circular economy action plan

The EU Environment Council today, headed by Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, decided, among other things, on its position on the EU Commission’s circular economy action plan. The plan contains numerous measures to accelerate the transition to a resource-efficient and circular economy in the EU: including the increased use of recyclates, a consumer right to repair important electrical and IT equipment, and more stable and environmentally friendly equipment -Design. In 2021, the EU Commission will revise various legal provisions that are relevant to strengthening the circular economy, taking into account the position of the Council. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze: “We have succeeded in bringing all EU member states together behind the goal of a consistent circular economy. More recycling and less consumption of resources are central to a strong and sustainable European economy. ”The Environment Council calls on the Commission, for example, to improve the longevity of products. To this end, the Commission should i.a. Develop new ecodesign criteria and propose information requirements so that consumers can repair products more easily in the future. This particularly applies to IT and electrical devices such as smartphones, tablets and household appliances. In addition, the Council supports measures to achieve a more sustainable use of plastics. These include an increased use of deposit systems, EU-wide recycling quotas for certain products or the rapid restriction of the export of plastic waste to third countries. The EU Commission published the circular economy action plan in March 2020 as an important component of the European Green Deal. It contains 35 measures that aim to decouple economic growth from resource use and to keep resource consumption within planetary boundaries. It is intended to make an important contribution to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and to help ensure the EU’s long-term competitiveness. In the waste sector, the focus is on further strengthening the waste hierarchy (1st waste prevention, 2nd reuse, 3rd recycling, 4th Other recycling, 5. Disposal). Instruments for this are the greater application of the so-called extended producer responsibility, more investments in high-quality sorting and recycling plants in Europe or the promotion of the demand for high-quality recyclates. In addition, landfilling of untreated municipal waste across the EU is to end as soon as possible. Several countries like Germany have been banned from landfill for several years. The Commission will now gradually put forward its proposed measures for the circular economy. This includes the revision of existing legislation, new legislative proposals and also new strategy papers. In doing so, it will take into account the position and advice of the Council. After the EU Commission proposal for the new battery legal framework was presented in December 2020, in 2021, among other things, The revision of the Waste Shipment Ordinance, the update of the concentration limit values ​​for persistent organic pollutants in waste, the new initiative for sustainable product policy, the initiative for recyclable electronics and the revision of the packaging directive will follow. As soon as the Commission’s proposals are available, they will be discussed by the Council of Member States and the EU Parliament.

German EU Council Presidency Together for more environmental and climate protection in Europe

12/17/2020 | Press release No. 236/20 | EU Council Presidency

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