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Material use in the European Union: Towards a circular approach

11-09-2018

Global material use has tripled during the past four decades, in particular as a result of increasing living standards. The use of materials, which need to be extracted from our environment, can pose environmental challenges. It can also be threatened by resource scarcity and price volatility. This is particularly true for Europe, which is strongly dependent on imported materials. There are a number of ways to consider material use in the European Union (EU). The breakdown of material use by types ...

Global material use has tripled during the past four decades, in particular as a result of increasing living standards. The use of materials, which need to be extracted from our environment, can pose environmental challenges. It can also be threatened by resource scarcity and price volatility. This is particularly true for Europe, which is strongly dependent on imported materials. There are a number of ways to consider material use in the European Union (EU). The breakdown of material use by types of materials indicates that non-metallic minerals, which include sand and gravel, account for almost half of the materials used in the EU. Material flows provide an overall picture of how materials enter, are used and finally leave the economy. Some of these materials stay in stocks, which are growing year after year. However, the efficiency of material use, measured through resource productivity, has increased substantially since 2000, in part as a result of the economic crisis. Material use in the EU is steered by policies related to different areas such as energy, waste and industry. Relevant policy documents include the 2011 roadmap to a resource-efficient Europe, the 2013 seventh Environment Action Programme and the 2015 circular economy action plan. The EU supports these policies with funding. Funding channels include the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation, which allocated about €635 million between 2014 and 2020 for research on raw-material-related challenges. The European structural and investment funds also support developing more efficient material use practices. The European Parliament has advocated making the use of harmonised indicators for resource efficiency legally binding in the Member States and setting targets for increasing resource efficiency. Parliament has also supported broadening the scope of eco-design requirements to gradually include all relevant resource-efficiency features in product-design requirements.

Water reuse: Setting minimum requirements

06-09-2018

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating ...

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating water scarcity. The Commission estimates that the proposal could increase water reuse in agricultural irrigation from 1.7 billion m³ to 6.6 billion m³ per year, thereby reducing water stress by 5 %. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) is considering the proposal. The Environment Council discussed the proposal on 25 June 2018.

Kunststoffe in der Kreislaufwirtschaft

05-09-2018

Kunststoffe sind in allen Wirtschaftszweigen weit verbreitet. Die Behandlung von Kunststoffabfällen wirft jedoch mehrere Probleme auf. Deshalb veröffentlichte die Kommission im Januar 2018 eine Strategie für Kunststoffe in der Kreislaufwirtschaft. Es wird erwartet, dass das Europäische Parlament auf seiner Plenartagung im September 2018 eine Initiativentschließung zu der entsprechenden Mitteilung annimmt.

Kunststoffe sind in allen Wirtschaftszweigen weit verbreitet. Die Behandlung von Kunststoffabfällen wirft jedoch mehrere Probleme auf. Deshalb veröffentlichte die Kommission im Januar 2018 eine Strategie für Kunststoffe in der Kreislaufwirtschaft. Es wird erwartet, dass das Europäische Parlament auf seiner Plenartagung im September 2018 eine Initiativentschließung zu der entsprechenden Mitteilung annimmt.

Umsetzung von Rechtsvorschriften über Pestizide

05-09-2018

Das Europäische Parlament soll vor dem Hintergrund der derzeitigen Meinungsverschiedenheiten über die Erneuerung der Genehmigung von Glyphosat im September über einen Bericht über die Umsetzung der EU-Rechtsvorschriften über Pflanzenschutzmittel abstimmen.

Das Europäische Parlament soll vor dem Hintergrund der derzeitigen Meinungsverschiedenheiten über die Erneuerung der Genehmigung von Glyphosat im September über einen Bericht über die Umsetzung der EU-Rechtsvorschriften über Pflanzenschutzmittel abstimmen.

Air quality: Pollution sources and impacts, EU legislation and international agreements

10-07-2018

Outdoor air pollution is caused by the emission of harmful substances from natural sources and human activities. It has a number of adverse effects on human health and the environment, and subsequently on society and the economy. Air pollution can be transported or formed over long distances and can affect large areas. Effective air quality policies require action and cooperation beyond the local and national levels, on a European and global scale. This publication presents key air pollutants, lists ...

Outdoor air pollution is caused by the emission of harmful substances from natural sources and human activities. It has a number of adverse effects on human health and the environment, and subsequently on society and the economy. Air pollution can be transported or formed over long distances and can affect large areas. Effective air quality policies require action and cooperation beyond the local and national levels, on a European and global scale. This publication presents key air pollutants, lists natural sources of air pollution, and details emissions from human activities by sector. It describes adverse effects on human health, the environment and the climate, as well as socio-economic impacts. In addition, it provides an overview of international agreements and European Union legislation setting air quality standards, lowering national emissions of pollutants, and reducing emissions of pollutants at specific sources. Furthermore, this publication briefly describes the state of implementation of key EU legislation related to air quality. Finally, it reflects the position of the European Parliament and stakeholders on the policy area.

Single-use plastics and fishing gear: Reducing marine litter

09-07-2018

Most of the plastic in our oceans originates from land-based sources. On European beaches, plastics make up 80-85 % of marine litter, which is considered a major threat to marine and coastal biodiversity. Marine litter also costs the European Union economy an estimated €259 million to €695 million per year. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal seeking to address the issue of marine litter from plastics. The proposal would introduce a series of measures regarding ...

Most of the plastic in our oceans originates from land-based sources. On European beaches, plastics make up 80-85 % of marine litter, which is considered a major threat to marine and coastal biodiversity. Marine litter also costs the European Union economy an estimated €259 million to €695 million per year. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal seeking to address the issue of marine litter from plastics. The proposal would introduce a series of measures regarding the top 10 single-use plastics found on European beaches, as well as fishing gear, with a view to reducing their impact on the environment and ensuring a functional internal market. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) is considering the proposal. The Environment Council discussed the proposal on 25 June 2018. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Motor vehicles: new approval and market surveillance rules

05-07-2018

The automotive industry is a major player in the European economy, accounting for 6.4% of gross domestic product and 2.3 million jobs in the European Union (EU). In September 2015, the Volkswagen (VW) case highlighted weaknesses in the implementation of type-approval rules for motor vehicles in the European Union, in particular as regards standards on emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In 2016, as part of preparations from previous years but also in response to the VW case, the European ...

The automotive industry is a major player in the European economy, accounting for 6.4% of gross domestic product and 2.3 million jobs in the European Union (EU). In September 2015, the Volkswagen (VW) case highlighted weaknesses in the implementation of type-approval rules for motor vehicles in the European Union, in particular as regards standards on emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In 2016, as part of preparations from previous years but also in response to the VW case, the European Commission proposed strengthening the type-approval system for motor vehicles. Its goal is to ensure effective enforcement of rules (including through market surveillance), to strengthen the quality and independence of technical tests and to introduce EU oversight on the type-approval process. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed on 30 May 2018. The regulation will apply from 1 September 2020.

Circular economy package: Four legislative proposals on waste

04-07-2018

Although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, over a quarter of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between Member States. Improving waste manage¬ment could deliver positive effects for the environment, climate, human health and the economy. As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission made four legislative proposals introducing new waste-management targets regarding reuse ...

Although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, over a quarter of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between Member States. Improving waste manage¬ment could deliver positive effects for the environment, climate, human health and the economy. As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission made four legislative proposals introducing new waste-management targets regarding reuse, recycling and landfilling, strengthening provisions on waste prevention and extended producer responsibility, and streamlining definitions, reporting obligations and calculation methods for targets. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final acts were signed on 30 May 2018. Member States are required to transpose the directives into national law by 5 July 2020. This updates an earlier edition, of March 2018: PE 614.766.

EYE event - Ocean protection: Hooked on heavenly habitat

16-05-2018

Although oceans are essential to us in many ways, the state of marine biodiversity remains little known. What we do know, however, is that human activities create a number of pressures such as (over-)exploitation, carbon emissions, and pollution, including marine litter. The European Union (EU) has been active in promoting the sustainable use of the seas. In early 2018, the European Commission presented a strategy to address the issue of plastics pollution, including microplastics in our seas.

Although oceans are essential to us in many ways, the state of marine biodiversity remains little known. What we do know, however, is that human activities create a number of pressures such as (over-)exploitation, carbon emissions, and pollution, including marine litter. The European Union (EU) has been active in promoting the sustainable use of the seas. In early 2018, the European Commission presented a strategy to address the issue of plastics pollution, including microplastics in our seas.

EYE event - Biodiversity and wildlife crime

16-05-2018

Wildlife crime is one of the most profitable criminal activities worldwide. It has devastating effects on biodiversity, undermines the rule of law, and can trigger economic losses for entire countries. The European Union has been engaged in the fight against wildlife trafficking for decades.

Wildlife crime is one of the most profitable criminal activities worldwide. It has devastating effects on biodiversity, undermines the rule of law, and can trigger economic losses for entire countries. The European Union has been engaged in the fight against wildlife trafficking for decades.

Anstehende Veranstaltungen

19-09-2018
Fact-finding visit to Spain: 19 - 21 September 2018
Andere Veranstaltung -
PETI
19-09-2018
PEST mission to Dijon and Lyon
Andere Veranstaltung -
PEST
24-09-2018
Brexit and industry and space policy
Workshop -
ITRE

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