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Environment

Circular economy action plan

The EU’s new circular action plan paves the way for a cleaner and more competitive Europe.

Text stating circular economy action plan

The European Commission adopted the new circular economy action plan (CEAP) in March 2020. It is one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth. The EU’s transition to a circular economy will reduce pressure on natural resources and will create sustainable growth and jobs. It is also a prerequisite to achieve the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target and to halt biodiversity loss.

The new action plan announces initiatives along the entire life cycle of products. It targets how products are designed, promotes circular economy processes, encourages sustainable consumption, and aims to ensure that waste is prevented and the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.

It introduces legislative and non-legislative measures targeting areas where action at the EU level brings real added value.

Objectives

Measures that will be introduced under the new action plan aim to

  • make sustainable products the norm in the EU
  • empower consumers and public buyers
  • focus on the sectors that use most resources and where the potential for circularity is high such as: electronics and ICT, batteries and vehicles, packaging, plastics, textiles, construction and buildings, food, water and nutrients
  • ensure less waste
  • make circularity work for people, regions and cities
  • lead global efforts on circular economy

Actions

The Commission will implement all 35 actions listed in the action plan. 

Timeline

Previous and upcoming actions and initiatives

  1. 2021 - 2022
    Planned adoption date for several initiatives under the action plan, including:
    • legislative proposal for substantiating green claims made by companies -find out more
    • legislative proposal empowering consumers in the green transition –find out more
    • EU strategy for sustainable textiles - find out more
    • a sustainable products policy initiative including a revision of the Ecodesign Directivefind out more
    • review of requirements on packaging and packaging waste in the EU - find out more
    • update of EU rules on industrial emissions - find out more
  2. 17 November 2021
    European Commission adopted proposal for news rules on waste shipments

    Find out more in the press release and questions and answers

  3. 28 October 2021
    European Commission adopted proposal to update rules on persistent organic pollutants in waste
  4. 22 February 2021
    Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE) launched
  5. 10 December 2020
    European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on sustainable batteries

    This was the first initiative to be delivered under the new action plan - find out more

  6. 11 March 2020
    European Commission adopted new circular economy action plan
  7. 11 December 2019
    European Commission adopted European Green Deal
  8. December 2015
    European Commission adopted the first circular economy action plan

    All 54 actions under this plan have been delivered or are being implemented - find out more.