An exciting European proposal on the Circular Economy Package in December 2015 paved the way for broader adoption of biodegradable materials across the EU. Dive into the circular economy action plan package to learn about the changes soon to be taking place in the EU and how they will benefit consumers and member countries alike.
What is the Circular Economy?
The European Commission recognizes that EU citizens need to use natural resources more sustainably. If things do not change, the world as a whole will run out of resources to meet the needs of citizens.
A chief tenet of the Circular Economy is “closing the loop” which refers to the carbon loop. Under the plan, municipalities will increase recycling and decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills. From manufacturing to usage to disposal, all stages of a product’s life will be refined for sustainability.
The EU will set a binding target to reduce landfill to 10 percent of all waste maximum by 2030. 75 percent of packaging waste and 65 percent of municipal waste should be recycled by 2030. Member states are not allowed to ship waste across borders without the prior consent of other nations, so countries cannot simply pass off their waste to a thriftier neighbour.
One main strategy of the Circular Economy is replacing plastic bags with reusable and biodegradable bags. Doing so curbs waste and saves money for businesses and consumers. Biodegradable plastic bags can be safely reused, composted, and manufactured from bioplastics.
The European Commission found that the market for bioplastics will grow by more than 350 percent in the coming years. Yet while bioplastics are an important component of the Circular Economy, forecasts show that just 5 percent of bioplastics facilities will be located in Europe by 2019. Member states must increase political and economic support for bioplastics to stimulate European production.
Benefits of the Circular Economy
The Circular Economy will benefit consumers and businesses alike. Across the EU, businesses are projected to save €600 billion a year through these sustainable initiatives; many will pass savings on to customers.
The European Commission hopes that the Circular Economy package will make the region more competitive, boost economic growth and jobs in the region, and promote sustainability. Such strategic improvements will send a signal across the globe that Europe is a competitive and future-ready place to do business, shoring up the region’s economy while reducing waste.
With more of its waste diverted from landfills, the Circular Economy action plan could create as many as 30,000 new jobs in many sectors. Sustainable growth in the region will benefit consumers over the long term, as will cheaper prices on goods.
Biobag looks forward to the adoption of the Circular Economy across the EU, and to the environmental and economic benefits this plan will bring about. From resealable food storage bags to compostable dog bags, there are many ways to utilise biodegradable plastics in your home or workplace.