Written by Didier Bourguignon
Unlike the traditional linear economic model based on a ‘take-make-consume-throw away’ pattern, a circular economy is based on sharing, leasing, reuse, repair, refurbishment and recycling, in an (almost) closed loop, where products and the materials they contain are highly valued. In practice, it implies reducing waste to a minimum.
Moving towards a more circular economy could deliver opportunities including reduced pressures on the environment; enhanced security of supply of raw materials; increased competitiveness; innovation; growth and jobs. However, the shift also poses challenges such as financing; key economic enablers; skills; consumer behaviour and business models; and multi-level governance.
On 2 December 2015, the European Commission presented a new circular economy package. The package contains an action plan for the circular economy, mapping out a series of actions planned for the coming years, as well as four legislative proposals on waste, containing targets for landfill, reuse and recycling, to be met by 2030.
The European Parliament advocates specific measures to improve waste management and to promote eco-innovation and resource efficiency. Stakeholders, however, voice diverging views on the proposed circular economy package.
Read the full briefing on ‘Closing the loop: New circular economy package‘