On 2 December 2015, the European Commission unveiled its new Circular Economy Package to help European businesses and consumers make the transition to a stronger and more circular economy where resources are used in a more sustainable way. The new package contains a combination of both legislative and non-legislative elements, such as new and revised legislative proposals on waste, clear targets for waste reduction – such as the common EU target for recycling 65 per cent of municipal waste by 2030 – and proposed actions to “close the loop” and tackle all phases in the lifecycle of a product: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials. It also contains a list of proposed actions that will target market barriers in specific sectors or material streams, such as critical raw materials, as well as horizontal measures in the areas of innovation and investment. Through these collective actions, the Commission aims to ensure that the maximum value and use of all raw materials, waste and products are extracted, thereby increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases. According to the Commission’s First Vice President, Frans Timmermans: “the circular economy is not only about reducing waste and protecting the environment, but it is also about a profound transformation of the way our entire economy works”.
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