What changes worldwide could have the biggest impact on the circular economy? Read our selection for you for June 2021.

European Commission presents Zero Pollution Action Plan to reduce waste significantly

The European Commission has adopted its Action Plan, “Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil”, a key deliverable of the EU’s Green Deal.

Within the scope of the Action Plan, the EU is looking to harmonize all relevant policies to tackle and prevent pollution with an emphasis on the use of digital solutions.

Additionally, the plan sets out key targets for addressing pollution by 2030, including:

  • Improvement of water quality by reducing waste, plastic litter at sea (by 50%) and microplastics released into the environment (by 30%)
  • Significant reduction of waste and a 50% reduction in residual municipal waste

To achieve these targets, the Action Plan includes a comprehensive list of flagship initiatives and reviews of relevant EU legislation that should, alongside the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, pave the way for a pollution free future by 2050.

The policies that will be addressed include:

  • a review of most EU waste laws to bring them closer to clean and circular economy principles
  • a restriction on the export to third countries of products and wastes that have harmful, toxic impacts
  • the launch of Living Labs to promote green digital and smart zero pollution solutions
  • a revision of quality standards for air and waters

Read the press release here.

US federal legislation to address e-waste exports

Democratic Representative Adriano Espaillat and Republican Representative Steve Stivers have brought forward legislation to the American Congress that would increase American control over exports of WEEE.

Espaillat had already presented the Secure E-Waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA) to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in the previous legislative term.

At the core of the bill is a restriction on the export of e-waste to China, to ensure that this waste does not become the source of counterfeit goods that may re-enter military and civilian electronics supply chains in the United States.

The Coalition for American Electronics Recycling (CAER) also claims that SEERA would prevent the dumping of end-of-life electronics in toxic dumps in developing countries. Instead, the American recycling industry would benefit from processing these untested, nonworking, end-of-life electronics, which could boost investment and capacity.

Link to Bill here.

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