The European Union has announced that it has fully implemented its Circular Economy Action Plan, a wide-ranging series of actions adopted in 2015 and aimed at reducing waste and improving the efficient use of resources. The measures included new rules on waste management, and restrictions on single-use plastics and fishing gear, as well as incentives for innovation and recycling.
A report assessing the impact of the action plan found that moving towards circular economy models had spurred job creation within Europe, with a 6 per cent increase jobs in related sectors over the past four years. In 2016, the report found, circular economy activities, including repair, reuse and recycling accounted for €17.5 billion (US$19.8 billion) worth of investments.
“Circular economy is key to putting our economy onto a sustainable path and delivering on the global Sustainable Development Goals,” first vice-president Frans Timmermans said. “This report shows that Europe is leading the way as a trailblazer for the rest of the world. At the same time more remains to be done to ensure that we increase our prosperity within the limits of our planet and close the loop so that there is no waste of our precious resources.”
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