There is little sign so far of the EU’s transition to a circular economy, says a report published today by the European Court of Auditors. EU measures and billions of euros have had little impact on EU countries’ transition, particularly where the circular design of products and of manufacturing processes is concerned. In this context, achieving the EU’s ambition of recycling twice as many materials during the current decade as during the previous one will be like trying to square the circle, conclude the auditors.
Overall, the EU has made very little progress in its transition to a circular economy. Between 2015 and 2021, the average circularity rate for all 27 EU countries increased by only 0.4 percentage points. Seven of them – Lithuania, Sweden, Romania, Denmark, Luxembourg, Finland and Poland – even regressed during that time. The auditors therefore conclude that the EU’s ambition of doubling its share of material recycled and fed back into the economy by 2030 looks very challenging.
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