EU unveils circular economy plan 2.0, drawing mixed reactions

(EurActiv, 11 Mar 2020) The European Commission unveiled its new circular economy action plan on Wednesday (11 March), confirming the EU’s intention of halving municipal waste by 2030, and suggesting to offer consumers a new “right to repair” for computers and smartphones.

The Commission roadmap, unveiled today, doesn’t contain hard legislation at this stage. Rather, it outlines future measures aimed at cutting waste in areas like textiles, buildings and electronic equipment, which have so far been unaddressed at the EU level.

Some of the Commission’s ideas are sure to generate controversy. Apple Inc., for example, is likely to resist plans to mandate a universal charger for mobile phones. And a new “right to repair”, although likely to prove popular with consumers, will not go down easily with manufacturers of electronic devices.

But the Commission is adamant that going fully circular is the only way forward – not just for the planet but also for business. Applying circular economy principles can increase the EU’s GDP by an additional 0.5% by 2030 and create around 700,000 new jobs, the Commission said in a statement.

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EurActiv, 11 Mar 2020: EU unveils circular economy plan 2.0, drawing mixed reactions