In the previous Action Plan, the EU Commission had mainly focused on products’ end-of-life, setting ambitious targets for recycling; today’s report on the Circular Economy Action Plan goes beyond that and aims at setting sustainable and eco-friendly standards to the projecting and production of products. We progressives believe this is the only way forward to meet the EU Green Deal and make Europe the first net-zero greenhouse gas emissions continent.
S&D vice-president and shadow rapporteur on the Circular Economy Action Plan, Simona Bonafè, said:
“Thanks to the approval of the Circular Economy Action Plan today, the European Parliament has taken an important and positive step forward in highlighting the circular economy as the engine to boost social and economic recovery for the post Covid-19 pandemic.
“Nowadays, we consume 2.8 times more resources than our planet is able to regenerate yearly. This can no longer be tolerated if we want to reach the objectives of the Green Deal and implement a real sustainable EU industrial strategy.
“Therefore, we consider it crucial that European Commission comes forward with legislative proposals on the environmental and carbon footprint of the EU’s production and consumption while ensuring our competitiveness and innovative spirit.
“Starting from a new legislative framework on sustainable products and the batteries regulation, we call for measures for designing our products in a sustainable and circular way so that we can reach climate neutrality.
“Prevention, reuse, recycling, regeneration, reparation: this is what circular economy revolution is about. This is what we will continue to fight for.”
S&D coordinator in the environment committee, Jytte Guteland, added:
“We need a circular economy that paves the way for economic growth without the constant exploitation of natural resources.
“We must become smarter in our production, more sustainable in our use and stronger in our reuse of resources. Investing in a circular economy is a win-win solution since it will also be good for employment: up to 700,000 new jobs can be created in the circular economy by the year 2030.
“This shows that environmental protection, sustainability, and more in general the fight against climate change, are prerequisites, not hurdles, for economic growth. What we need is sustainable growth for all.
“Therefore, the S&D Group welcomes the European Commission’s Action Plan for the circular economy, but we want more ambition. We want specific and binding targets for reducing the use of raw materials and for reducing the impact of consumption on the environment.”