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Supporting the circular economy

This is how standards contribute to the Circular Economy Action Plan


The recent Action Plan for a circular economy launched by the European Commission, will accelerate the transformative change required by the European Green Deal, relying on the measures that have been applied since 2015 following its first Plan.

This new Plan refers to standardisation as a facilitator in fields such as the control and reduction of microplastics, the assurance of the quality of the waste collected that will be used in products and the creation of a secondary market in the EU.

It focuses on sectors with a greater potential for the successful implementation of circular economy measures such as electronics and ICT, batteries and vehicles, packaging, plastics, textiles, construction and building, food and water. Its Appendix sets out an implementation calendar for the 2020-2022 period of the legislative framework on matters such as product sustainability, waste reduction, key value chains or the role of the citizen.

As with the first Action Plan, standardisation will be involved in this strategy, providing support and responding to the needs of the new framework. In the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, the horizontal aspects in this field have their strategic coordination in its Circular Economy Advisory Committee. This Committee has prepared the document 'The Circular Economy and Standardization' aimed at standardisation committees with the objective of transmitting the potential of their activity in order to facilitate this transition through the incorporation of the circular economy in the standards. Precisely, the various standardisation committees involved in areas in which the new Action Plan will play a key role and allow them to transfer the vision of the different sectors involved.