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MEPs emphasise the scarcity of resources

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World Cement,

A resolution passed by environment MEPs has called on the Commission to table new legislation by the end of 2015, focusing on reducing waste, ecodesign promotion and systemic change. The resolution follows the Commission communications on a circular economy package, tabled together with a legislative proposal on waste, which was withdrawn a couple of months later.

“It is a vital step for the EU to use resources more efficiently and to reduce our resource dependency and also to bring savings in material costs. Smart ecodesign of products also bears in mind repairing, reusing and recycling products,” stated the lead MEP, Sirpa Pietikäinen.

Pietikäinen added: "As Europe is more dependent on imported resources than any other region in the world, moving towards a circular economy is an economic and ecological win-win scenario.”

Moving towards zero waste, the environment committee called for the Commission to table a proposal that includes waste prevention measures, binding waste-reduction targets for municipal, commercial and industrial waste to be achieved by 2025, a binding ongoing reduction of all landfill waste and application of the “pay as you throw” principle.

Promoting a life cycle oriented approach towards product policy and ecodesign has also been put to the Commission. The MEPs want ecodesign legislation to be reviewed by 2016. Definitions of the requirements for criteria, such as durability, reusability and recyclability, have been demanded, as well as measures to remove planned obsolescence.

In order to reduce the issue of scarce resources, the committee says that the extraction and use of resources must be reduced and the link between growth and natural resources should be severed. The committee believes that in order to reach a sustainable use of resources by 2050, EU policy must include a reduction of resource consumption to a sustainable level, application of the waste hierarchy, greater use of renewables, gradually cutting out toxic substances and improving the quality of ecosytem services.

According to the committee the Commission should also develop indicators for resource efficiency, measuring resource consumption, including imports and exports. The use of these should be mandatory from 2018.

The full House will vote on the report in July in Strasbourg. More information can be found here.

Edited from Press Release by Harleigh Hobbs

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