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A truly circular economy for sustainable growth and jobs in Europe

The European Commission today released its plans for transforming the European economy into a circular one, which uses less natural resources, prevents waste and better re-uses materials. The new Circular Economy package was drafted under the lead of Karmenu Vella (PES), Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. A first proposal for a circular economy strategy by the previous Commission was withdrawn by the current Commission in February 2015. Commissioner Vella and First Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans (PES) promised to table a new and more ambitious proposal at the end of 2015.

PES President Sergei Stanishev: ‘Commissioner Vella today presented a very good Circular Economy Package. The new package is much broader than the old one and makes proposals to make the economy truly circular. It takes a holistic approach that closes the circle by covering all stages of a product’s life cycle with a view to reduce waste; from its production and use phase, to its disposal and recovery phase.

Moving our linear economic model – that is based on a take-make-consume-dispose pattern of growth – to a circular economy where natural resources are used and re-used much more efficiently is vital to preserve the environment and our very foundations of living. But more efficient resource use will also lower European industries’ dependence on raw material imports and will increase their competitiveness. New technologies and waste treatment, recovery and prevention methods offer great opportunities for new businesses and jobs and environmentally sustainable growth.

For the ongoing international climate change negotiations in Paris, COP21, this is a good signal that Europe is seriously committed to shift to a sustainable way of living.’

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