On 2 December 2015, the European Commission presented a new, more ambitious circular economy package that aims to increase competitiveness, innovation, growth and new jobs; reduce pressures on the environment; and enhanced security of supply of raw materials. Upon this base, the rapporteur welcomes the harmonised definitions in the waste directives proposals and calls on the European Commission to ensure that all the definitions are in line with the European Waste Catalogue. Furthermore he urges the co-legislators not to water down Extended Producer Responsibility requirements and to maintain key provisions such as those guaranteeing transparency as well as full coverage of costs by producers for local and regional authorities with regard to the collection, management and processing of waste streams, and public information. The rapporteur calls once again for further binding targets to be set for re-use and recommends to give priority to a qualitative approach eliminating landfilling of recyclable and biodegradable waste.

Circular economy is addressing bottle necks of the European industry and society and turning these into a great potential. The availability of resources also at affordable prices becomes a vital question for Europe as we are a resource scare continent with enormous resource consumption. The waste package is one important step towards a circular economy. It aims at increasing the recycling and incentivises the reuse of our resources which would otherwise end up in landfills or incinerators.

Karl-Heinz Florenz
Member of the European Parliament

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