The Spanish Cabinet has given the green light to the Spanish Circular Economy Strategy (EEEC) ―”España Circular 2030”―, which sets the basis for moving from the linear economy to a new model of production and consumption in which the value of products, materials and resources is maintained within the economy for the longest possible time. This is a model in which waste generation is minimised and unpreventable waste is availed of to the utmost.
The Strategy is one of the key elements of the Circular Economy Framework, a Government project which seeks to be the driver of economic recovery following the COVID-19 health crisis. The Government has also passed the Waste and Contaminated Land Act, which will also address the challenge of single-use plastics, as well as a Royal Decree to improve the control and traceability of waste shipments.
The general principles underlying the EEEC are: environmental protection and enhancement; decarbonisation of the economy; the “polluter pays”; health protection; rationalisation and efficiency; cooperation and coordination between Public Administrations; public participation; sustainable development; solidarity between regions and people; integration of environmental factors in decision-making; improved economic competitiveness and quality job creation.
It is calculated that Spain requires two and half times its surface area to supply the needs of its economy. Apart from the environmental impacts associated with this, the data demonstrates the inefficiency of the model and a serious degree of foreign dependency. This makes our economy dependent, vulnerable and less competitive. “España Circular 2020” sets the following targets for 2030:
- To reduce national materials consumption by 30% of GDP, taking 2010 as the reference year.
- To reduce waste generation by 15% compared to 2010.
- To reduce the production of food waste throughout the food chain: 50% reduction per capita at household and retail level, and a 20% reduction in production and supply chains from 2020, thus aiding the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
- To increase reuse and preparation for reuse until it accounts for 10% of municipal waste generated.
- To improve efficiency in the use of water by 10%.
- To reduce greenhouse gas emissions to less than 10 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents.