Europe needs to step up circular economy efforts: EU agency

(EurActiv, 21 Mar 2024) Europe must accelerate efforts to transform its economy into a circular one focused on reusing or repurposing materials to cut waste, a necessity if it is meet climate targets, the European Environment Agency warned Thursday (21 March).

“Decisive action is essential to drastically reduce waste, prioritise reduction of resource use, improve recycling rates and improve the introduction of products that are designed for circularity from the outset,” the Copenhagen-based agency said in a statement presenting a new report.

“We are still far from the ambition to double the Union’s circularity rate by 2030,” the EEA said, adding that there was a “low or moderate likelihood” that EU’s ambitions would be “achieved in the coming years”.

“We need an additional policy push,” Daniel Montalvo, a climate expert at the agency, said at a press conference.

At the heart of the problem, according to the EEA, are business models in which products have a very short lifespan — if they are even used at all.

“Business models primarily revolve around mass-producing products, often sacrificing quality, and this results in early breakdown or premature obsolescence,” the EEA said.

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EurActiv, 21 Mar 2024: Europe needs to step up circular economy efforts: EU agency