This section provides an overview of key documents related to the topic of Circular Economy in Europe.

EU legal framework - key documents

11/03/2020 - The European Commission has adopted a New Circular Economy Action Plan - one of the main blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth.

Building on the work done since 2015, the new Plan focuses on the design and production for a circular economy, with the aim to ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible. It introduces legislative and non-legislative measures targeting areas where action at the EU level brings real added value.

In September 2014, the European Commission, in correspondence with the planned revision of the European waste legislation, has developed a package of measures that aim to reduce the production of waste and to promote a more general transition to a circular economy. These measures are contained in the Communication "Towards a circular economy: a program for a zero-waste Europe" that stimulated the entry of the topic into the European public debate.

In 2015, the European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Action Plan, which includes measures that will help stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy, boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.

Key elements of the revised waste proposal include:

  • A common EU target for recycling 65% of municipal waste by 2035;

  • A common EU target for recycling 70% of packaging waste by 2030;

  • Recycling targets for specific packaging materials;

  • A binding landfill target to reduce landfill to maximum of 10% of municipal waste by 2035;

  • Separate collection obligations are strengthened and extended to hazardous household waste (by end 2022), bio-waste (by end 2023), textiles (by end 2025).

  • Minimum requirements are established for extended producer responsibility schemes to improve their governance and cost efficiency.

  • Prevention objectives are significantly reinforced, in particular, requiring Member States to take specific measures to tackle food waste and marine litter as a contribution to achieve EU commitments to the UN SDGs.

On March 14th 2017, with the vote of the European Parliament, the Circular Economy Package was approved by a large majority. The adopted report considerably improves the 2015 proposal made by the European Commission, in particular with regard to the recycling targets for 2030 raised to 70% for solid urban waste and 80% for packaging.


circular economy in italy - key documents (ITALIAN)

circular economy STUDIES