LIFE has published a new Focus brochure on one of the greatest environmental, social and economic challenges of the next 30 years – the transition to a circular economy.
In his foreword to the brochure, Karmenu Vella, the European Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, sets out the challenge ahead: “Europe needs to move away from a ‘linear’ economic model that is resource intensive and unsustainable towards a more ‘circular’ approach, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised.”
LIFE and the Circular economy highlights what the EU's programme for the environment and climate action has already done to achieve this goal and suggests more ways LIFE can contribute in future. The LIFE programme has invested some €1 billion since 1992 in over 700 circular economy-related projects on reuse, waste prevention and recycling. LIFE has further increased its support for circular economy-related actions in the current multiannual financial framework, helping to invest over €100 million in more than 80 projects since 2014.
The brochure includes expert interviews with Daniel Calleja Crespo from the European Commission, MEP Sirpa Pietkäinen and Jocelyn Blériot from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an organisation that is developing tools to help companies make their products more circular and become more circular as a whole.
This essential new publication covers the full range of thematic areas linked to the circular economy: production, consumption, waste management, the market for secondary raw materials, and the five priority sectors identified in the EU's Circular Economy Action Plan of December 2015: plastics, biomass and bio-based products, critical raw materials, food waste, and construction and demolition waste.
The six chapters feature more than 100 projects that between them have mobilised €270 million of targeted spending. This includes some €110 million of direct funding from the EU. These replicable and marketable projects can be a source of inspiration to anyone working to make our economy more resource efficient, from citizens, to communities, entrepreneurs, major enterprises, public servants and politicians. As Commissioner Vella notes: “There are tremendous opportunities for business development and job creation in a circular economy.”
Download: LIFE and the Circular economy
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