11 Mar 2020

Taking the circular economy to the next level

Reacting to the Commission’s new Circular Economy Plan, Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE, said:

“The transition to a low-carbon, climate neutral, resource efficient and circular economy is one of the world’s most pressing challenges and the digital sector is ready to do its part.”

We welcome the efforts made so far and the link recently made in the new industrial strategy, although we consider that the Commission’s circular economy approach continues to focus too much on consumer products and not enough on industry.

Europe already has an extensive and well-established framework of regulations for consumer electronics. The problems lie in the coherence between existing tools, the implementation, and the enforcement across the Member States. Fixing this would take the circular economy to the next level.

We also believe that there should be a greater emphasis on the digitalisation of our industrial sector, which is Europe’s strength. Given its relative size compared to the market for consumer products, there is enormous untapped potential here to reduce the use of material resources, improve energy efficiency and cut emissions.”

DIGITALEUROPE is convinced that digital technologies are key enablers for attaining the sustainability goals of the European Green Deal. At the same time, we are also aware of our footprint and are committed to ensuring a sustainable digitalisation.

The European framework of product policies plays an important role in promoting the circular economy. It is an area where the EU has shown global leadership and, when done well, has the potential to drive international regulatory alignment.  The lifecycle of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) is subject to a comprehensive set of different pieces of EU legislation covering the whole product lifecycle. This has expanded over the years to also integrate circular economy elements. For example, around 20 Ecodesign regulations, the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) directive. DIGITALEUROPE members are committed to complying with each of them and in many instances have initiatives or programmes in place that go beyond compliance.

Chris Ruff
Director for Political Outreach & Communications
Milda Basiulyte
Senior Director for Cyber, Infrastructure & Competitiveness
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