Climate change, environmental pollution, and resource scarcity are just a few of the many reasons why our society needs to transition towards a circular economy. Although the European Union is on the right track in this regard, there are still a lot of challenges to overcome.
Operating 35 producer responsibility organisations for waste electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and packaging across 15 countries, Landbell Group has contributed to the circular economy for over 20 years and is committed to continuing this role in the future.
Based on this long-term experience, we want to share some recommenda- tions for a policy framework which paves the way for an innovative and sustainable circular economy, and also strengthens the European Union’s global leadership in this field.
Despite the achievements made so far, there are still a lot of challenges ahead which need to be tackled to drive the transition towards a circular economy.
- Increasing recycling rates, not only for the waste streams for which there are already policies in place, but for all kinds of resources used in products and services.
- Reducing landfill and incineration rates.
- Restricting large volumes of end-of-life products and packaging which are illegally shipped to third countries.
- Redesigning the waste and resource markets which are very fragmented, even within the EU. The redesigned system would ensure all stakeholders had clear roles and responsibilities across the product life cycle, with sufficient enforcement of existing legislation.
Seven Steps towards a better circular economy
1. SET SMART TARGETS FOR RECYCLING AND PHASING OUT LANDFILL AND INCINERATION
- Clearly defined, ambitious and achievable targets
- Transparent, appropriate and consistent calculation methods
- Uniform quality standards for secondary raw materials
- Acceleration and enforcement of the ban on landfill
5. STANDARDISE RULES AND INCREASE COMPETITION IN THE WASTE AND RESOURCE MARKETS
- A stable pan-European policy framework
- Consistent rules and processes
- Elimination of monopolistic and protectionist structures as well as other barriers to competition
- Promotion of global waste and resource markets with standardised rules
7. PROMOTE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
- Regular public budgets for research and development
- Penalty payments as source for public research and development funds
- Support for innovative circular business ideas