On Tuesday 5th of May, policy-makers and stakeholders were brought together by the European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment and the Swedish Ministry of Environment and Energy, to discuss the importance of ensuring a non-toxic circular economy in Europe.
MEP Linnéa Engström opened the session by highlighting that the European Parliament has been very active on pushing the agenda forward for a progressive waste policy and further emphasised that they would continue to do so. The EU is currently missing out on the benefits that the circular economy can bring about such as job creation, increasing competitiveness and minimising environmental degradation. The Parliament is eagerly awaiting the new proposal on the circular economy but many still wonder what it will entail to be fully compatible with the jobs and growth agenda. Concern was raised on the amount of influence coming from the business sector, which might hinder the ambition of the circular economy framework. Another major concern raised was the compatibility of chemical and waste legislation, which is often falsely identified as a barrier to increasing recycling and creating a downstream market for secondary raw materials.