Circular Economy

Waste in a Circular Economy

Waste prevention should always be our priority. However, even in the transition to a circular economy, residual streams from production and consumption processes will remain. It is important to ensure appropriate waste management and prevent landfilling or incineration of valuable resources. Our goal is to ensure that reliable, harmonised standards promote preparation for reuse and material-efficient recycling. This way we can turn waste into a resource and close the loop in a sustainable way by, for example, using organic waste as fertiliser, treating sustainably electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and batteries, and recovering critical raw materials. Better product design is also essential to limit the amount of waste, especially hazardous waste, and facilitate material recycling.

What we are working on

  • Contribute to the development of ambitious EU requirements for environmentally safe collection, transport and treatment of WEEE, based on European harmonised standards, thus fostering the preparation for re-use and recycling.
  • Participate in the H2020 project CEWASTE, which aims to develop a voluntary certification scheme for improved recycling of critical raw materials in WEEE and batteries. More on:
  • Promote waste recycling over incineration, pyrolysis or gasification, especially for plastic waste. For example, in the area of solid recovered fuels.
  • Ensure that high-quality and sustainable recycling of plastics is achieved, including the phasing out of substances of concern, in the revision of European standards for plastics recycling and recycled plastics.
  • Help develop standards for biodegradable plastics and composting to define tests that better represent real-life conditions

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Contact person

Fanny Rateau
Programme Manager+32 2 894 46 68
Michael Neaves
Programme Manager+32 2 893 08 59

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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