On May 18, GLOBE EU hosted an event on the recovery of resources from End-of-Life Products.
With demand for raw materials increasing and mining companies having to go deeper each year to extract these raw materials from the earth’s crust, increasing the use of materials embedded in discarded consumer goods was widely seen as mankind’s best shot at limiting the use of virgin raw materials and lowering the environmental and social impact of traditional mining.
Speakers from the International Resource Panel, Umicore, Tarkett, Dow, and H&M were able to demonstrate that collecting and recovering these secondary raw materials has huge potential but is not without its issues. EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) schemes can help, but only when fragmentation is avoided and schemes are harmonized across EU Member States.
On November 17, GLOBE EU invited representatives from the European Climate Foundation, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and IUCN to convey their organization’s perspective on the European Green Deal’s proposed measures and their likely impact on climate mitigation, resource consumption, and biodiversity. Panelists did not only consider the challenge to adopt a coherent approach to the implementation of the EGD throughout the policy-making process to avoid mutually conflicting measures. They also focused on what would be required to monitor the impact of all measures proposed by the EGD taken together: will a simple set of indicators be sufficient and how can the EU Commission ensure timely feedback on the effect of these measures so that it can modify policies if the EGD appears to be steering the EU in the wrong direction.