Progressive industry calls for an ambitious Circular Economy Policy
by Joan Marc Simon
A group of progressive industries accounting for more than 2300 companies from all sectors, from multinationals to SMEs, have presented a joint manifesto calling for an ambitious renewed Circular Economy Package. This initiative has been led by De Groene Zaak, MVO Nederland and Circle Economy, but has been supported by other relevant stakeholders, such as the European Environmental Bureau or ACR+.
This manifesto stresses that “circular businesses are currently succeeding in spite of, rather than because of, the regulatory framework” and that further legislative and policy action is needed to bring circular economy. Among their proposals, we should highlight:
- Strong leadership and political guidance: bringing circular economy means transforming the model of consumption and production we have had for 250. This requires a systemic approach and, thus, the new package should be an “integrated package of government measures providing systemic incentives that encourage companies to implement circular business models.”
- Maintaineance of the initial targets and introduction of new ones: They recommend keeping the binding targets for recycling and landfilling, and create new ones on reuse. Economic incentives could complement these.
- Discourage incineration: they recommend introducing stringent criteria to exclude incineration of household waste that can be recycled or materially recovered.
- Shift on tax burden: the manifesto proposes shifting tax burden from labour to resources, incentivising ‘circular products’ via VAT, etc.
- Europe’s material footprint, indicators beyond GDP: They “recommend using The Raw Material Consumption (RMC) per capita as a key indicator for resource productivity” and consider that GDP “is an inadequate linear measure of the economy”. Circular economy policies need new indicators, such as the Genuine Progress Indicator.
- Creation of a European Institute for Circular Economy that would be based on existing national examples and could boost economic research, assist policy development, define transition paths, etc.
You can find here their manifesto. Zero Waste Europe supports these measures and would be very glad to see these proposals in the new Circular Economy Package.
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