On May 7, 2018, European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Environment opened a public consultation on the roadmap for the initiative “Towards an EU Product Policy Framework contributing to the Circular Economy.” In addressing its questions, this initiative will integrate knowledge generated by several other “ongoing or recent initiatives,” including “revision of waste legislation” (FPF reported) and “European strategy for plastics in a circular economy” (FPF reported).

The plan is to evaluate “the soundness and completeness of existing EU policy and regulatory instruments” regarding their contribution to the circular economy. Further, the initiative will “analyze product groups with high circular economy potential currently not or only partially covered by EU policy tools, and describe actions and options to realize this potential.” According to an article published by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch on May 10, 2018, such product groups could be “food and drinks, textiles, construction products/buildings, furniture and cosmetics.”

Another aim is to evaluate the cases “where multiple policy tools address the same products or product groups,” in order to explore “ways of optimizing the interactions between these instruments” and “to generate a policy drive towards more circular products, while respecting the specificities of the different policy instruments.” An example of such a case is the interface between chemical, product, and waste legislation. In his article published on May 10, 2018 by Chemical Watch, Qi Wang, project manager at Dr. Knoell Consult, discussed in detail the current challenges with proper management of substances of concern in waste and secondary raw materials generated by recycling.

The public consultation closes on June 4, 2018. Based on the collected evidence, “preliminary options for further action” will be developed.

Read more

EC (May 7, 2018). “Commission communication towards an EU Product Policy Framework contributing to the Circular Economy.Public consultation, Ares(2018)2409307.

EC (May 7, 2018). “Roadmap. Towards an EU Product Policy Framework contributing to the Circular Economy.(pdf)

Chemical Watch (May 10, 2018). “EU to assess existing policies for circular economy plan.

Qi Wang (May 10, 2018). “Challenges for waste legislation in the circular economy.Chemical Watch