The new Landbell Group white paper on the circular economy, named “Innovative and sustainable: Transitioning Europe towards a circular economy”, remarks our society needs to transition towards a circular economy. The paper outlines the challenges ahead and shares recommendations for a policy framework able to lead this transition.
Landbell Group has contributed to the circular economy for over 20 years and is committed to maintain this role for the journey ahead. The white paper points out that policy instruments, like extended producer responsibility (EPR), have considerably helped to increase collection and recycling rates and to significantly reduce landfill and incineration in the European Union. It gives recommendations on how to remedy at some crucial points.
First of all, our current economic system functions in a rather linear way. Only 9% of the resources used globally are being kept in the loop, i.e. re-used, re-manufactured or recycled. The rest is typically being landfilled or incinerated. So, the main challenge is to further increase recycling rates for all kinds of resources.
First, smart targets must be set. Targets that are clearly defined, stretch, but also achievable for both collection and recycling of waste. The principle of EPR has proven over the years to be a very effective means to ensure proper collection and recycling of waste. So, it's important to combat free-riding on the EPR obligations by reducing the complexity of administrative requirements and allowing a straightforward implementation in particular for SME and importers. On the other hand, consumers play an important role in the transition towards a circular economy. Explain to consumers their power and how each individual can make a difference in the transition towards a circular economy.
Challenges are many and in order to overcome that, the new Landbell Group white paper on the circular economy, provides the following recommendations:
- Set smart targets for recycling and for phasing out landfill and incineration
- Strengthen extended producer responsibility in a level playing field
- Set up clear, transparent and practical roles and responsibilities for all actors involved
- Empower consumers
- Harmonise rules and increase competition in the waste and resource markets
- Ensure effective enforcement
- Promote research and development
To know more about, download the full white paper on circular economy.