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The CSCP Contributes to Recent EEA Report – ‘Paving the Way for a Circular Economy: Insights on Status and Potentials’

While circularity can minimise waste and resource extraction, improve resource efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to conserving biodiversity, a recent report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) states that the circular economy initiatives in Europe are still in their “infancy”.

In its report titled ‘Paving the way for a circular economy: insights on status and potentials’ (published on 1 October 2019) the EEA points out: it is too early to evaluate the overall economic and environmental impacts of the circular economy, since initiatives are young and diverse, and relevant harmonised European-level statistics are still largely lacking.

The good news is European companies are increasingly adopting circular business models, focused mainly on operational efficiency and reducing waste. Shifting from product-based to service-based business models is another promising development. The majority of the EEA member countries support circular economy initiatives with regulation and market-based instruments or softer policy instruments such as information campaigns and labels.

That said, challenges such as corporate culture, market factors and system complexity still limit the adoption of such models. Furthermore, relevant methods of data monitoring is still not available in established information systems, including national statistics. The EEA report also points out that circular economy policies and initiatives require better integration with bio-economy and climate policies.

The CSCP as part of the European Topic Centre on Waste and Materials in a Green Economy (ETC/WMGE) has contributed to this report by particularly looking at circular business models and relevant consumer behaviour.

This EEA report is the fourth focusing on the circular economy; the three previous reports are:

For further questions, please contact Nora Brüggemann

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash