ACR+ welcomes the publication of the New Circular Economy Action Plan, but stresses the importance of promptly embedding the measures proposed therein into binding legislation. 

Brussels, Belgium – The New Circular Economy Action Plan published by the European Commission on 11 March 2020 promises to overhaul the EU economy by placing circularity at its core.

The Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management (ACR+) is generally pleased with the measures stipulated in the plan. In particular, we appreciate the emphasis placed on prevention, producer responsibility, right to repair, mandatory recycled content rules, and consumer empowerment. 

As a network of decentralised public authorities, we are happy to see that the plan makes the link with regional and social funds, as well as with the cohesion policy, which are among the main levers through which local and regional authorities steer local economies. This is important because, as Françoise Bonnet, Secretary General of ACR+, said:

"In their role as pioneers of best practices and regulators, local and regional authorities are instrumental to the successful transition to a circular economy. They can help mainstream best practices in circular economy so they become the norm."

Conversely, ACR+ encourages the European Commission to ensure that, while promoting the use of digitalisation in the transition to a circular economy, its environmental impact is measured, communicated, and accounted for; that consumer empowerment efforts address the need for more and better education on sustainability and systems thinking of adults and youth; and that  minimum mandatory criteria and targets are set for green public procurement. 

Most importantly, we insist that the measures proposed in the plan need to be turned into binding rules as soon as possible.

More details are available in our position paper.

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