To read the full EU circular economy action plan, please click here

To better understand what EU circular economy action plan represents to Europe, we have some questions and answers, by Francesca Poggiali, GS1 Public Policy Director Europe, Global Office.

What’s in it for GS1?

The circular economy plan focuses on the need of an industrial transition towards products digital twin at an unprecedented scale. We in GS1 know that this means that product authentication is essential to enable that transition.

Which will be the sectors prioritised by the new plan?

The focus has been put on the sectors that use most resources and where the potential for circularity is higher, according to the EU own estimations, which are: electronics and ICT; batteries and vehicles; packaging; plastics; textiles; construction and buildings; food; water and nutrients. Of course, one of the main goal is always to ensure that less waste is generated.

Is this as easy as that? One piece of legislation and the whole European industry is ready?

Of course, not! The first circular economy plan was adopted back to 2015, and the current plan will be supported by the following measures addressing key value chains:

Each time I hear about the circular economy, one of the most recurrent expression is: less waste. Is it still the case?

I think this is a perspective that Europe is keen on keeping because the circular economy is not just a concept for the industry but also for citizens. And waste reduction is a goal for both. The EU will keep on adopting specific measures at this regard, as in the following chart.

The circular economy aims at changing the way we produce and consume that is to say that sustainable products need to become the norm to reduce resource-use and waste-generation. 

I think it’s important to watch the following video on plastics which illustrates various types of plastics, single-use and alternatives, packaging and waste management. I know that’s a long video and more like a documentary but I strongly suggest watching it to raise awareness of the changes we need to make: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-179449 

So in brief: circular economy = make sustainable products the norm in the EU!

To know more or to share ideas on how GS1 can help please contact Francesca: francesca.poggiali@gs1.org