In 2015, the European Commission adopted its ambitious Circular Economy Action Plan. It includes measures to stimulate Europe's transition to a circular economy, boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.
The Action Plan set out an ambitious concrete programme, with measures spanning the whole cycle, from production and consumption through to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials. These measures were designed to help ‘close the loop’ of product lifecycles via improved recycling and re-use, benefiting both the environment and the economy.
The Circular Economy Action Plan has now been completed and its 54 actions have been delivered, although work on some of them will continue beyond 2019.
The revised legislative framework on waste entered into force in July 2018. This sets clear targets for reducing waste and establishes an ambitious and credible long-term approach to waste management and recycling.
In March 2019, the European Commission adopted a comprehensive report on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan. The report presented the plan’s main achievements and sketched out the future challenges to shaping the economy and moving to a climate-neutral, circular economy, minimising the pressure on natural and freshwater resources as well as ecosystems.