Brussels – The European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan can now be considered fully complete, according to a progress report published this month.
All 54 actions from the Action Plan, adopted in 2015, have now been completed or are currently being implemented.
Plastics were put at the top of the agenda, and inspired a dedicated Strategy for Plastics. One of the most eye-catching elements of the strategy – the outright ban on selected single use plastic products like cutlery and straws – was approved by the European Parliament this week and will come into force in 2021.
Another key pillar was the revised waste legislative framework, which entered into force in 2018. This set ambitious new targets for recycling and reduction of landfilling.
More than €10 billion in public funding has been made available for innovation and investments, including €1.4 billion for Horizon 2020 and €1.8 billion for uptake of eco-innovative technologies among SMEs.
Additional action has been taken to promote the conversion of waste into resources. This includes the new Fertilising Products Regulation, which introduced new rules for organic fertilisers made from agricultural by-products and bio-waste.