Petrochemicals Europe adopted in December 2016 a Position Paper welcoming the EU Commission´s circular economy concept.

The European petrochemical industry is strongly committed to sustainability, health and environmental protection and fully supports the Commission’s initiative.

The industry in Europe has already a proven track record of embracing the essence of the concept (preserve and enhance natural capital, optimize resource yields and foster system effectiveness) as an essential pillar of its business models. Managing cost is key to successfully competing in global markets where customers only buy on price. This driver, coupled with the environmental benefits of the circular economy, explains why petrochemical producers in Europe see such opportunity in these efficiency steps.

Petrochemicals also act as enablers for the circular economy driving resource efficiency of downstream user industries as well as other consumers, for example by providing the essential building blocks for reducing waste (via ultra-thin packaging material like foils), increasing energy efficiency (for example via insulation material), reducing emissions (via renewable energy devices like solar panels and windmill blades) and fuel consumption (via additives), or enhancing the convenience of every-day products (for example light-weight plastics instead of heavy components).

In December 2015, the European Commission adopted a Circular Economy Package, which includes revised legislative proposals on waste to foster Europe’s transition towards a circular economy. The package is currently under discussion at the European Parliament and the ENVI Committee adopted on 24 January 2017 a report on the revised Waste Directive.

For further information, please read Petrochemicals Europe’s Position Paper on Circular Economy and consult the Commission’s page on the Circular Economy package.