Circular economy

Climate change 26-10-2015

Cities, regions and climate change

Cities and regions are leading the fight against global warming, calling for the EU to be zero carbon by 2050, as world leaders prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in November.

Trade & Society 26-04-2011

What goes around comes around: Recycling and climate change

Recycling has become a central part of the EU's climate change strategy by helping the bloc to tackle the nearly three billion tonnes of waste produced by Europe annually, much of which enters the atmosphere in the form of CO2 and methane emissions from landfill sites and incineration plants.

Raw materials: Heading for a global resource crunch?

With the world's population growing and industrialisation rising, competition for raw materials is intensifying, raising concerns about access to key natural resources for European industry.

Towards a recycling society

An EU strategy on preventing and recycling waste aims to pave the way towards a recycling society by decoupling economic growth from natural resource use. But questions remain over whether the issue should be dealt with at national or European level, and on how to reconcile the EU's ecological and internal market objectives in the long run.

Waste Prevention and Recycling

European responses to waste generation have been fragmented (twelve directives since the 1970s) and inefficient until now. The Commission's proposed Thematic Strategy (21 Dec. 2005) sets up a framework for a holistic review of the existing EU waste policy, based on prevention and recycling.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

The directive on Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) aims to increase the re-use, recycling and recovery of waste from a variety of consumer products ranging from light bulbs to PCs, mobile phones, medical devices and sports equipment. The WEEE directive is complemented by a directive on the Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment. The two directives came into force in 2003 but have come under fire for being too complicated, too costly and even for being impossible to implement.

Climate change 04-11-2004

Packaging Waste (no longer updated)

The packaging and packaging waste directive (94/62/EC) was amended in January 2004 by directive 2004/12/EC. The revised directive sets new recovery and recycling targets for a five-year phase. The Conciliation Committee (between Parliament and Council) has reached a compromise on the review of the Packaging Waste Directive - permitting Member States to count incineration for recovery targets.