UK Green MEPs – Jean Lambert, Molly Scott Cato, Keith Taylor press for ambitious proposals to reduce resource use and create green jobs in a circular economy
Building a circular economy for the European Union is both necessary and overdue. A circular economy will re-align economic activity with environmental limits. In particular, economic activity must no longer be linked to resource consumption. For these reasons, the UK’s 3 Green MEPs have submitted a response to the European Commission’s Public Consultation on the Circular Economy. The consultation closes today but you can read the main section of the MEPs submission here
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London said:
‘The EU’s circular economy plans could create millions of jobs and cut costs for business whilst reducing waste and pollution. We are used to hearing about cuts and efficiency savings, but for once these are the right cuts and the right efficiency savings. These EU plans could mean less waste and more re-use. We could see products being designed to work better, last longer and be easier to repair, and an end to the use of toxic materials. It’s called a circular economy because we are talking about turning yesterday’s waste into tomorrow’s valuable resources.
‘But for this to work, the EU plans must include binding targets to reduce commercial, industrial and food waste, and to recycle more, especially packaging. Crucially, we also need to measure and increase resource efficiency. Along with fellow Green MEPs I am responding to the Commission consultation to press for an ambitious proposal which will reduce our use of resources and create the green jobs and skills we urgently need.’
This fundamental shift in economic thinking and policy is essential for the long-term prosperity and success of the EU. The Commission needs to make sure that the beneficial potential of the circular economy model is fully realised. This is necessary so that the EU economy becomes resource-efficient, environmentally sustainable, and delivers the huge potential for green jobs and skills.
Moving to a circular economy will only be achievable with far-reaching legislation and legally binding targets. This should include specific waste reduction and resource efficiency targets, and an explicit commitment to becoming a zero waste EU.