In 2015, the European Commission adopted its first circular economy action plan. It included measures to help stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy, boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.
The action plan established concrete and ambitious actions, with measures covering the whole life cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials and a revised legislative proposal on waste.
On 4 March 2019, the European Commission adopted a comprehensive report on the implementation of the action plan. The report presents the main achievements and sketches out future challenges to shaping our economy and paving the way towards a climate-neutral, circular economy where pressure on natural and freshwater resources as well as ecosystems is minimised.
The actions under the action plan contributed to accelerate Europe’s transition by helping "close the loop" of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, and bought benefits for both the environment and the economy.
By 2019, the first circular economy action plan was fully completed. Its 54 actions have been delivered, even if the work on some of them continues beyond 2019. The list of actions can be found in the annex to the action plan.
For information on how the circular economy is progressing in the EU, a set of key indicators can help capture the transition’s main features and possible existing gaps, see Eurostat - Circular economy monitoring progress.
Key dates under the first circular economy action plan and its implementation
- 11 March 2020European Commission adopted new circular economy action plan
- December 2019European Commission adopted European Green Deal
- October 2019Adoption of 10 Ecodesign implementing regulations
- July 2019Directive on single-use plastics enters into force
- June 2019Revised fertilisers regulation enters into force
- July 2018the revised legislative framework on waste enters into force
- January 2018Commission adopted circular economy package
- Development of a monitoring framework for the circular economy – find out more
- Report on critical raw materials and the circular economy – find out more
- Strategy on plastics in the circular economy – find out more
- Analysis and policy options to address the interface between chemicals, products and waste legislation, including how to reduce the presence and improve the tracking of chemicals of concern in products – find out more
- November 2016Adoption of the Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019
- December 2015European Commission adopted the first circular economy action plan
All 54 actions under this plan have been delivered or are being implemented.
- 4 March 2019: Implementation of the action plan press release and questions and answers
- 4 March 2019:Eurostat press release: Circular Economy in the EU
- 16 January 2018: Strategy for plastics - press release and questions and answers
- 2 December 2015: Circular Economy Package press release and questions and answers
Final Circular Economy package (2019) - key documents
- Report on the implementation of the circular economy action plan
- Staff working document with details on the 54 actions included in the action plan
- Staff working document on sustainable products in a circular economy
- Staff working document on the assessment of the voluntary pledges under Annex III of the plastics strategy
- Guidance and promotion of best practices in the mining waste management plans
- Summary report of the public consultation on the interface between chemicals, product and waste legislation
- Report on improving access to finance for circular economy projects
- Report on Horizon 2020 R&I projects supporting the transition to a circular economy
- A circular economy for plastics – Insights from research and innovation to inform policy and funding decisions
2018 Circular Economy package - key documents
- EU Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy - communication
- EU Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy - staff working document
- EU Strategy for plastics in the Circular Economy - brochure
- Factsheets on the strategy for plastics in a circular economy
- Factsheet - changing the way we use plastics
- Communication on the Interface between chemicals, products and waste legislation - staff working document and factsheet
- Monitoring framework for the circular economy - staff working document - factsheet and Eurostat monitoring framework tool
- Proposal on Port Reception Facilities - impact assessment and summary of the impact assessment
- Report on critical raw materials
- Report on oxo-plastics
- Eurobarometer: SMEs and the circular economy