Each year Europe currently loses around 600 million tonnes of materials contained in waste, which could potentially be recycled or re-used, with only 40% of European household’s waste being recycled. However, rising food demands, limited availability of arable land, energy poverty, increase of fresh water together with the impact of climate change constrain us to modify our linear economy. Europe’s economy needs to “close the loop”, an action which could bring net savings of €600 billion - or 8% of annual turnover - for businesses in the EU and will boost job creation, with more than 170,000 direct jobs potentially being created in Europe by 2030.
Promoting the Circular Economy Concept can be a practical solution to the planet's emerging resource problems. The ambitious scheme of this concept contemplates to minimise the generation of waste and maintain the value of products, materials and resources in the economy for as long as possible. The transition to a more circular economy, however, is going to be demanding. Concerns by the industry that environmental policy making could inhibit competiveness, financing as well as implementation intricacies do not facilitate the circumstances. In order to make the circular economy happen, it will require long-term involvement at all levels, from Member States, regions and cities, to businesses and citizens.
Having withdrawn a pending legislative proposal on waste in December 2014, the Commission presented a new circular economy package in December 2015. By using its new horizontal working methods, the package is to cover the full economic cycle, not only waste reduction targets. The transition will be supported financially by ESIF funding, €650 million from Horizon 2020, €5.5 billion from structural funds for waste management, and investments in the circular economy at national level.
This timely symposium is an invaluable opportunity for experts, policy makers, industries, NGOs and other key stakeholders to discuss the latest European regulatory policies on the Circular Economy Package aiming at promoting a more sustainable economy. The symposium will allow delegates to assess the current and future challenges faced and to share best practices and initiatives from across Europe.
- Find out more about the current EU Circular Economy Package
- Debate on future implementation and challenges
- Develop solutions to ensure and facilitate circular economy in Europe
- Provide recommendations for future initiatives
More information and the program of the event are available here.