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

  • Developing ambitious EU requirements for environmentally safe collection, transport and treatment of WEEE, based on European harmonised standards, thus fostering their preparation for re-use and recycling.
  • Promoting waste recycling over incineration or energy recovery, especially for plastic waste. For example, in the area of solid recovered fuels.
  • Ensuring that high-quality and sustainable recycling of plastics is achieved, including the phasing out of substances of concern in EU legislation as well as in European and international standards.
  • Debunking industry’s narrative on chemical recycling to exclude energy recovery, working for full traceability of recycled content and advocating for well-calibrated Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) environmental impact calculation methods.
  • Helping develop EU policy as well as European and international standards for compostable and biodegradable plastics, through the definition of requirements and tests to better represent real-life conditions.

Related news

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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