In the EU, raw materials currently account for about 40% of manufacturer’s cost and out of the 54 materials that are critical for Europe, 90% must be imported, primarily from China /Andrew Sheng, Xiao Geng, Project Syndicate, Jul. 30, 2021/.
In the meantime, up to 80% of a product’s environmental impact is determined at the design phase, so in principle, designers alone could win back our future by designing sustainable products.
However, there are no incentives, mandatory protocols, financial regulations and government policies to halt the “take-make-waste” outdated model at its roots, at the design phase.
According to the EU’s plan, applying circular-economy principles comprehensively could increase its total GDP by an additional 0.5% /!!!/ by 2030, and create around 700000 new jobs, less than the U.S. economy creates in one month. It does not sound like a vision of a grown-up responsible adult.
Instead of daydreaming to become a global power via a United States of Europe, and also igniting fights among the member countries, this area is exactly the EU’s huge business opportunity to be globally competitive again.
Governor Matolcsy, MNB, the Central Bank of Hungary