By / December 18, 2014

Turning waste into a resource – Moving towards a ‘circular economy’

Written by Didier Bourguignon In a circular economy, unlike in a linear economy based on a ‘take-make-consumethrow away’ pattern, the materials…

© avarooa / Fotolia
Written by Didier Bourguignon

In a circular economy, unlike in a linear economy based on a ‘take-make-consumethrow away’ pattern, the materials contained within products are reused, turning waste into a valuable resource. Although businesses have started to use this model on specific products in various sectors, it has not yet been implemented on a large scale.

Turning waste into a resource - Moving towards a 'circular economy'
© avarooa / Fotolia

In its communication on a circular economy presented in July 2014, the European Commission proposes to double the rate of increase in resource productivity by 2030. To achieve this, the European Commission considers a broad range of measures related to design and innovation, financing for resource efficiency, and awareness of businesses and consumers.

A transition towards a more circular economy could have a number of benefits: enhancing the security of supply for raw materials; stimulating GDP growth; strengthening the competitiveness of businesses in the EU; and helping to protect the environment. However, there are also a number of barriers and challenges: moving towards circularity is a major change at a time of economic crisis; key enablers for the transition are still missing; significant discrepancies currently exist between Member States; and such a transition is a major multi-level governance challenge.

The European Parliament has repeatedly stressed the need for a shift towards resource efficiency and eco-innovation. Many Member States have been critical of the Commission proposal even though some have already started moving towards a circular economy. For their part, stakeholders have expressed diverging views.

Read the whole Briefing here

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Comments
  • I think the EU is more advance d in ecological regard than the USA. I mean we do have some recycling containers in our neighborhood but mostly we still throw garbage in the same box. Hoepfully this things will improve over time in America as well.

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