Thu, 2014-07-10 00:00

The resources producing industries react to the publication of the Circular Economy Package

On 2 July the Commission published a Circular economy package including the communication “Toward a circular economy: A zero waste programme for Europe” (COM(2014 398 final). The Commission indicates in its Communication that it “will take the recommendations of the European Resource Efficiency Platform on a headline target for resource efficiency into account together with outcomes of the public consultation in the ongoing review of the Europe 2020 strategy”.

This implies that “such a target is to be considered in the context of the mid-term review of the Europe 2020” strategy and that the suggestion to set a resource productivity target (increasing resource productivity by 30% by 2030) and the indicator (measured by GDP relative to Raw Material Consumption [RMC]) – will be tackled by the next Commission to take office on 1 November 2014.

The undersigned resources producing industries1 have repeatedly stressed their support to resource efficiency all along the value chain, i.e. from the extraction site to the recycling of the end consumer product, and they want to play a central role in the expected industrial renaissance while embracing the resource efficiency goals of the Circular Economy package. They welcome the wisdom of the Commission which, while suggesting a resource productivity target, has decided setting it after a large consultation of all concerned stakeholders.

The deep concerns of the resource producing industries regarding the methodology, grounds for and consequences of the establishment of a resource productivity target based on a lead indicator reflecting RMC have been communicated and they remain. The resource producing industries will reiterate these in the context of the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 Strategy, notably their concern that a lead indicator based solely on the quantity of resources used provides no indication of efficiency, at production stage or further down the value chain.

Such a shortcut between efficiency and volume can only prove detrimental in the long term. Resources should be used better, and not less, at processing, design and recycling stages.

1 CEMBUREAU, Cerame-Unie, EuroAlliages, Eurofer, Eurogypsum, Euromines, Euroroc, EU Salt, EXCA, IMAEurope, UEPG

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