EU Circular Economy Action Plan

Good news for the circular economy amidst challenging times

EU Circular Economy Action Plan


We are experiencing challenging times, but amidst the chaos, there is good news for the Circular Economy.


Europe adopts a new Circular Economy Action Plan

The European Commission has adopted a new Circular Economy Action Plan – one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth. The press release stated: With measures along the entire life cycle of products, the new Action Plan aims to make our economy fit for a green future, strengthen our competitiveness while protecting the environment and giving new rights to consumers. Building on the work done since 2015, the new Plan focuses on the design and production for a circular economy, with the aim to ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible. The plan and the initiatives therein will be developed with the close involvement of the business and stakeholder community.


What does this mean for REFLOW?

REFLOW Project is proud to be an Innovation Action project funded within the H2020 framework and be working towards implementing Circular Economy at the European city level. The Circular Economy Action Plan put forward as part of the EU Industrial Strategy presents a range of measures, including the following:

Empower consumers. Consumers will have access to reliable information on issues such as the reparability and durability of products to help them make environmentally sustainable choices. Consumers will benefit from a true ‘Right to Repair’.

Focus on the sectors that use the most resources and where the potential for circularity is high. The Commission will launch concrete actions on:

  • electronics and ICT – a ‘Circular Electronics Initiative’ to have longer product lifetimes, and improve the collection and treatment of waste
  • batteries and vehicles – new regulatory framework for batteries for enhancing the sustainability and boosting the circular potential of batteries
  • packaging – new mandatory requirements on what is allowed on the EU market, including the reduction of (over)packaging
  • plastics – new mandatory requirements for recycled content and special attention on microplastics as well as biobased and biodegradable plastics
  • textiles – a new EU Strategy for Textiles to strengthen competitiveness and innovation in the sector and boost the EU market for textile reuse
  • construction and buildings – a comprehensive Strategy for a Sustainably Built Environment promoting circularity principles for buildings
  • food – new legislative initiative on reuse to substitute single-use packaging, tableware and cutlery by reusable products in food services

Ensure less waste. The focus will be on avoiding waste altogether and transforming it into high-quality secondary resources that benefit from a well-functioning market for secondary raw materials. The Commission will explore setting an EU-wide, harmonised model for the separate collection of waste and labeling. The Action Plan also puts forward a series of actions to minimise EU exports of waste and tackle illegal shipments.

The six REFLOW pilot cities from across Europe will test approaches to city circularity each focusing on a different resource flow, many of which are specifically identified in the new Plan. Core to the REFLOW method is co-creation that focuses on a productive ‘making’ approach to empower citizens and engage policymakers and industry leaders. This approach thrives within the context of the Plan and we are proud to be actors within the transition towards a circular Europe.

For more details, you can read the EU announcement, here.

Kate Armstrong

Communications Lead for Fab Lab Barcelona

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