What changes worldwide could have the biggest impact on the circular economy? Read our selection for you for May 2022.

Ireland passes Circular Economy Bill

The Government of the Republic of Ireland has passed a new Circular Economy Bill which, for the first time, defines the term circular economy, the associated waste prevention and behavioural change measures, and puts them at the heart of the Irish economy.

A landmark step is the authorisation of the use of technologies to identify and prevent illegal waste disposal. These technologies could also prevent the unlawful storage of waste on land that is not suitable for this purpose.

Furthermore, the law aims to discourage wasteful behaviour, such as the use of single-use materials, and to strengthen the role of recycled materials. The development of sustainable products and business models will also be further promoted.

JRC study on end-of-waste criteria

As announced in the Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission has completed its assessment of the main waste streams. After 18 months of public consultations and stakeholder workshops, the development of further European end-of-waste (EoW) criteria is now set to begin.

EoW criteria specify when certain waste ceases to be waste and becomes a product or a secondary raw material, while the Waste Framework Directive defines by-products as a substance or object, resulting from a production process, the primary aim of which is not the production of that item.

A recently published study by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) identified plastics and textiles as the most suitable starting points for further criteria. The study used a methodology based on European benefits and data provided by stakeholders in the public consultations.

The Commission and its Joint Research Centre will commence work on the development of EoW criteria for plastic waste in Q2 2022 with finalisation of the technical assessment expected by Q1 2024. A first stakeholder workshop is organized for 31st May. The work on EoW criteria for textile waste will commence in 2023.