Growing amounts of waste put an increasing burden on the climate, particularly in newly industrialising countries, where greenhouse gas emissions are rising, according to a new study for the German environment agency. EurActiv.de reports
The Circular Economy is the buzzword of the moment in Brussels. But we need to make sure that our focus on “keeping the materials in the circle” does not distract us from our other objectives, argues Karl Foerster.
Sustainability and climate change present increasing challenges for policy makers, businesses and society. Regulators are adopting policies intended to break the link between economic growth and the use of natural resources. Industries are making new products and systems that need less building block materials, but still satisfy customer expectations. Society, both businesses and citizens, need to be much more aware of the importance of returning end of life products back into recovery and recycling.
Food waste is a largely underestimated problem: Globally, about one third of food produced is wasted. In Europe, this amounts to 90 million tonnes every year. More than 40% of European food waste comes from households, of which 60% is avoidable.
While Germany boasts the highest EU-wide recycling rate, 85% of waste in certain regions within the bloc ends up in landfills. Analysts are worried about the European Commission’s current reevaluation of waste targets. EurActiv Germany reports .
If the Juncker Commission wants to strengthen trust, maintain continuity and promote sustainability, it should not only uphold the previous Commission’s circular economy package, but further develop the waste policy measure, says Benjamin Bongardt, claiming public criticism from industry should not be taken seriously.
EUROBAT, the European Association for Automotive and Industrial Batteries, announced the results of studies on trends in automotive batteries. These underline the particular need for the long term co-existence between all battery technologies for meeting future mobility demands. A new report also revealed that closed loop collection and recycling for automotive lead-based batteries is a reality. Batteries for energy storage applications are also readily available and facilitating the integration of renewable energy in the electricity grid.
SPECIAL REPORT / Phones, computers, washing machines - integrating a few core principles, such as the waste hierarchy, into the manufacturing of these products can reduce their environmental impact and allow for a functioning circular economy, according to analysts.
The Commission wants Europe to become a ‘recycling society’ by 2020, a society that aims, in other words, to avoid waste or to use it as a resource. This ‘circular economy’ would create huge opportunities in terms of jobs and the environment but also raises important questions about the waste management and recycling practices affecting these jobs.
SPECIAL REPORT / The European Union's lead civil servant for the environment has called for a ban on landfilling and warned that separate collection is not enough if the EU is to improve its environmental performance.
SPECIAL REPORT / The European Commission's environment directorate is pushing hard for a binding target to increase Europe’s resource efficiency 30% by 2030 as part of a waste review due to be published in May, EurActiv has learned.
The aim of this video is to promote the dismantling, collection and recycling of end-of-life building glass (from windows, glazing and other products) and to ensure that end-of-life flat glass does not end up in landfill. Glass from building demolition and renovation should not be treated as a waste. European flat glass industry is eager to use more recycled glass into their manufacturing processes and believes that EU targets on recycling would boost the development of collection schemes at country level.
Potočnik’s main legacy as European environment commissioner was to put resource efficiency and the circular economy on the EU agenda. But the EU is a big ship and turning it around is slow: whoever is next at the helm would be wise to anchor the circular economy in local action and proximity, writes Jori Ringman-Beck.