The European Commission adopted the new circular economy action plan (CEAP) in March 2020. It is one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth. The EU’s transition to a circular economy will reduce pressure on natural resources and will create sustainable growth and jobs. It is also a prerequisite to achieve the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target and to halt biodiversity loss.
The new action plan announces initiatives along the entire life cycle of products. It targets how products are designed, promotes circular economy processes, encourages sustainable consumption, and aims to ensure that waste is prevented and the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.
It introduces legislative and non-legislative measures targeting areas where action at the EU level brings real added value.
Measures that will be introduced under the new action plan aim to
- make sustainable products the norm in the EU
- empower consumers and public buyers
- focus on the sectors that use most resources and where the potential for circularity is high such as: electronics and ICT, batteries and vehicles, packaging, plastics, textiles, construction and buildings, food, water and nutrients
- ensure less waste
- make circularity work for people, regions and cities
- lead global efforts on circular economy
The Commission will implement all 35 actions listed in the action plan.
It is essential to monitor progress towards a circular economy, and its direct and indirect benefits. This allows the EU and national authorities to assess whether policies are effective and to identify best practices.
In 2023, the Commission revised the circular economy monitoring framework, previously adopted in 2018. The revision adds new indicators on
- material footprint and resource productivity - to monitor material efficiency
- consumption footprint – to monitor if EU consumption fits within planetary boundaries
The new framework supports the EU’s circular economy and climate neutrality ambitions under the European Green Deal.
- 2023Adoption of several initiatives under the action plan, including:
- measures to reduce the impact of microplastic pollution on the environment - find out more
- 30 March 2022European Commission adopted package of measures proposed in the circular economy action plan
- Sustainable Products Initiative, including the proposal for the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation – find out more
- EU strategy for sustainable and circular textiles - find out more
- proposal for a revised Construction products Regulation - find out more
- proposal for empowering consumers in the green transition - find out more
Find out more about the package in the press release.
- 28 October 2021European Commission adopted proposal to update rules on persistent organic pollutants in waste
- 22 February 2021Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE) launched
- 10 December 2020European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on sustainable batteries
This was the first initiative to be delivered under the new action plan - find out more
- 11 March 2020European Commission adopted new circular economy action plan
- 11 December 2019European Commission adopted European Green Deal
- December 2015European Commission adopted the first circular economy action plan
All 54 actions under this plan have been delivered or are being implemented.
- 22 March 2023: Consumer protection: enabling sustainable choices and ending greenwashing
- 30 March 2022: Green Deal: New proposals to make sustainable products the norm and boost Europe’s resource independenc
- 17 November 2021: European Green Deal: Commission adopts new proposal on waste shipments
- 28 October 2021: European Green Deal: Commission adopts new limits for some of the most harmful chemicals in waste
- 22 February 2021: EU launches Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency
- 10 December 2020: Green Deal: Sustainable batteries for a circular and climate neutral economy
- 11 March 2020: Changing how we produce and consume: New Circular Economy Action Plan shows the way to a climate-neutral, competitive economy of empowered consumers
- 11 March 2020: Questions and Answers: A New Circular Economy Action Plan for a Cleaner and More Competitive Europe
- Communication: new circular economy action plan and annex
- Publication: new circular economy action plan
- Factsheet: new circular economy action plan
- Communication on a revised monitoring framework for the circular economy
- Staff working document: Measuring progress towards circular economy in the EU – revised monitoring framework
- Staff working document: Leading the way to a global circular economy: state of play and outlook
- Publication: Leading the way to a global circular economy, state of play and outlook
- Summary of the responses to the roadmap for a new circular economy action plan
- Staff working document: voluntary EU green public procurement criteria for data centres, server rooms and cloud services
- Factsheet: Investing in the circular economy: a blueprint for a green recovery
- Factsheet: Circular economy action plan as part of the European Green Deal
- Factsheet: International aspects of the circular economy action plan
- Factsheet: How research and innovation enables the transition to a circular economy