The long awaited European Commission consultation to inform new proposals on the Circular Economy is to open from 28 May until 28 August 2015. The consultation follows the withdrawal of a legislative proposal last year revising a range of waste related Directives with the purpose of facilitating better materials reuse and more efficient use of resources, including energy. The European Commission issued a Circular Economy Strategy Roadmap in May 2015 stating that the new intent is to prepare a revised proposal on waste and a Communication setting out an action plan on the circular economy which will cover the whole value chain and aim at “closing the loop” rather than focusing on waste or end of use. 

The objective of the present consultation is to define the main barriers to the development of a circular economy and identify measures to overcome those barriers. This is a significant consultation which has the potential to dramatically impact future legislation and growth. A separate consultation on waste market distortions is to be launched “shortly”. 

The consultation

The online questionnaire covers general questions gathered into phases. These are production, consumption, markets for secondary raw materials including construction aggregates, sectoral measures and enabling factors such as innovation and investment.  Comments are also sought on the prioritisation of products and sectors for proposed measures. Whilst on the face of the questionnaire the consultation is not extensive in content, the submitted responses and evidence could be extensive. All those involved in the innovation, generation and design, manufacture, sourcing and use of products including those in the chemicals, materials and energy use supply chain may wish to consider participating. The finance sector may also be interested on the range of proposed incentives for financing projects. Dedicated position papers or other resources may be uploaded as part of any response. Law and policy proposals will follow the consultation and therefore this is a chance to influence them.   

The consultation page is found here