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Defra urged to oppose circular economy package withdrawal

The main trade bodies of the UK waste industry and other environmental organisations have urged Defra to oppose a possible withdrawal of European Commission’s circular economy package.

The package is among a series of proposals being discussed by the EU’s College of Commissioners, who are drafting a work programme for 2015.

A spokesperson for the European Commission told MRW the college will adopt the final version of the programme at a meeting on 16 December. The plan will then be presented at a European Parliament plenary session the next day.

Nine organisations have expressed strong concern that the set of policies on the circular economy, which include a 70% municipal waste recycling target for 2030, will be axed.

In a letter to environment secretary Liz Truss, they ask Defra to contact the European Commission’s president Juncker and first vice-president Timmermans and urge them not to drop the proposals.

“There is a very broad consensus amongst industry groups and associations, major companies, NGOs and municipalities that the circular economy package offers huge potential for green job creation, resource security, environmental protection and economic growth,” they said.

“We call today upon the UK Government to issue a clear and unequivocal statement of its position in relation to the proposed withdrawal of the circular economy package.”

The signatories of the letter are the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, the Environmental Services Association, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Renewable Energy Association, the Resource Association, the EEF, The Environmental industries Commission, and Friends of the Earth.

The organisations said they had united to “state dismay” at reports about the European Commission dropping the circular economy package.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I have just returned from a conference session in Asia where the Circular Economy was discussed in relation to waste and recycling. Progress on this within the EU was lauded and is seen as something that key economies in Asia recognise as key to integrated industrial development. Axeing of the EU package will be a major error and represents a loss of focus on the industrial horizon.

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