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Markets for many commonly recycled materials struggle in the EU

Europe’s ambitions for a circular economy require the timely provision of good-quality recycled raw materials to manufacturers. However, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment published today, from the eight most common recyclables, only aluminium, paper and glass have well-functioning secondary markets. Lack of standardisation and competition with new materials are among the challenges for other markets, such as wood and textiles.

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More efforts needed to address land sources of marine litter

Amid a rise in plastic waste, more must be done across Europe to tackle the root causes of marine litter at its source to prevent the waste from polluting in-land rivers and making its way to our coastlines and seas, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) web report published today.

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Monitoring soil threats in Europe

Soil is a vital component of natural capital, hosting rich biodiversity and providing critical ecosystem services, such as food production, water purification and carbon storage. However, European soils are under increasing pressure and comprehensive monitoring to asses soil health is lacking. Published today, a European Environment Agency (EEA) report presents a core set of soil indicators and critical limits for soil health.

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EU Member States make progress in climate adaptation to boost resilience, EEA review finds

EU Member States recognise the importance of adapting to impacts of heatwaves, droughts, floods, heavy precipitation and changing temperatures and of mainstreaming climate change adaptation to a wide range of affected areas like agriculture, or water and disaster risk management. These are key findings of a European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today which assesses the state of national adaptation actions in 2021.

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Most plastic consumption in Europe lacks direct policy targets and data

Plastics are used across Europe in everything from construction materials to consumer products. Recent policy actions on plastic packaging at EU and national level have established collection schemes and introduced waste prevention measures. However, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, a significant fraction of Europe’s total plastic consumption is outside this policy focus and at risk of being overlooked in Europe’s transformation towards a more circular economy.

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Zero pollution: 2030 targets within reach but need stronger action

Today, the European Commission is publishing its first Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook report setting pathways to cleaner air, water and soil. The Commission report, together with the European Environment Agency's monitoring assessment, shows that EU policies have contributed to reducing air pollution as well as pollution from pesticides. However, in other areas such as harmful noise, nutrient pollution or municipal waste generation, problems persist. The results show that overall much stronger action is necessary if the EU is to achieve 2030 zero pollution targets, by adopting new anti-pollution laws and better implementing existing ones.

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Effective nature finance needs better data, analysis and tools

Alarming degradation of biodiversity has prompted initiatives for financial investments in nature both globally and in Europe. Besides strengthening biodiversity, such investments can have other important benefits, such as supporting climate action, food security, and improving quality of life in cities. European Environment Agency’s (EEA) new briefing highlights that better data, impact analysis and coordination mechanisms are needed to make nature financing effective.

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Methane emissions on a downward trend, but accelerated cuts needed to meet EU climate targets

While emissions of methane across the European Union have decreased over past years, the overall reduction in emissions needs to accelerate to meet 2030 and 2050 EU climate objectives. Increased global efforts to reduce methane emissions would also be needed to mitigate global warming in the short term, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing on trends and drivers of methane emissions published today.

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Moving towards sustainability in times of multiple crises and uncertainty

The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) assessments have shown that Europe and world face unprecedented environment and climate challenges that require ambitious policy responses, such as the European Green Deal. Published today, EEA Signals 2022 looks at Europe’s commitments for sustainability and energy system from the perspective multiple, interconnected crises.

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Premature deaths due to air pollution continue to fall in the EU, more efforts needed to deliver a toxic-free environment

Europe’s air quality keeps improving and the number of people dying early or suffering illness due to air pollution is in decline. However, according to European Environment Agency’s (EEA) analysis, published today, air pollution is still the largest environmental health risk in Europe, and more ambitious measures are needed to meet the health-based guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).

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