Research & Reports

Cefic calls for greater collaboration on circular economy transition

A platform of experts is required to help the chemicals industry transition effectively to the EU’s circular economy, according to preliminary conclusions of a study commissioned by Cefic.

Ann Dierckx, sustainability director, presented the initial findings of the study, which is due to be published on June 25, at Chemical Watch’s Global Business Summit in Brussels recently.

A key recommendation in Waste in context of the circular economy and REACH is the need for stakeholders to work together to improve information flows.

“The idea of a platform where all in the supply-chain would have a space for knowledge exchange is quite powerful, and it would help to reflect on what a consistent framework would look like,” Dierckx told Chemical Watch.

“I urge consistent and coherent legislation within the EU with harmonised rules and definitions across the member states.“

Examples of best practice from study participants showed that support from local, national and EU authorities is needed to scale-up innovations.

The study also suggested increased communication efforts at the international level, in order to highlight that certain rules must be respected to bring products into the EU.

“This should create a level playing field between imported and EU-produced articles containing substances of concern. “A lack of fairness impacts the potential for successful recovery and recycling,” Dierckx added.

“As industry initiatives and efforts on the circular economy intensify, the research explores the best ways to tackle issues and overcome barriers.

“In particular, it focuses on how to reduce uncertainties about end-of-waste, starting a resource-orientated thinking and increase legislative coherence in the context of the circular economy.

“A report objective was to gain insight from a different set of stakeholders on those two major issues, through informal debates, talking to policymakers and other interested parties.”

Conducted by consultancy Risk & Policy Analysts, it involved 28 experts from public authorities, Universities, NGOs and industry. It comes after the European Commission published its summary report of last year’s public consultation on the interface between chemical, product and waste legislation. This received 461 comments.

In December, a group of 13 organisations from the plastics value-chain called on member states and other stakeholders to help them meet their circular economy goals.