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

European Parliament adopts report on circular economy

8 April 2021

On 8 February, the European Parliament adopted a comprehensive set of policy recommendations aimed at achieving a carbon neutral, sustainable, toxic-free and circular economy by 2050.

The own initiative report gathered wide support, with 574 votes in favour, 22 against, and 95 abstentions. The recommendations look to set binding targets for materials use and the consumption footprint by 2030, taking into account the whole lifecycle of each product category placed on the European market.

In addition, parliament has urged the European Commission to put forward further legislation in 2021 and to expand the Ecodesign Directive to include non-energy-related products. Such legislation is expected to significantly help the shift to a more all-encompassing circular economy, ensuring products in more sectors are durable, reusable, easily repaired, upgradable, recyclable, include recycled material, and are resource and energy efficient.

The plenary debate focused on the importance of ushering in new legislation, as MEPs emphasized that Europe must first move to a circular economy to achieve the objectives of the Green New Deal. The full recording of the debate can be viewed here.

EEA releases new report on circular plastics economy

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a new report looking at the need for a rapid shift to a circular and sustainable plastics economy.

The report – “Plastics, the circular economy and Europe′s environment — A priority for action” – examines the production, consumption, trade and environmental impact of plastics in Europe, while offering solutions as to how a shift to a more circular system may take place. Three separate pathways apply to policymakers, industry and consumers.

Despite growing awareness of the world’s marine plastic problem, the report reveals that the production, use and trade of plastics will continue to grow in the coming years. Without the solutions offered by the report, the uncontrolled and unregulated growth of the industry could continue to devastate the environment.

The full report can be accessed here.

Circularity Gap Report 2021

A new report examines the state of the circular economy – and where it will need to go in the coming years and decades.

The Circularity Gap Report 2021, published by not-for-profit organisation Circle Economy, explains that adhering to our current linear economy will increase global warming by three to six degrees Celsius. The report proposes solutions, such as a worldwide doubling of circularity, which would reduce the rise in temperature to 1.8 degrees.

The focus of the report is the circularity gap. At present, the world is only 8.6% circular, leaving a considerable gap to fill. What’s more, two years ago that number was 9.1%, signalling a regression in recent years. The report also explains the positive impact that a circular economy can have in numerous industries, such as housing, communications, mobility and healthcare.

Twenty-one actionable solutions are offered as a guideline for moving forward. These solutions can play a major role not only today, but in considerably closing the circularity gap in the coming decades. View the full report and interactive website here.