Paving the way for a circular economy: insights on status and potentials

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details Number 11
Publication Date 2019
ISBN 978-92-9480-096-1
ISSN 1977-8449
Content Type


This report takes stock of the initiatives for creating a circular economy that reduce the use of natural resources and minimise harmful emissions and waste. According to it, 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 biggest obstacles to greater uptake of such models appear to be corporate culture, market factors and system complexity.

Countries use regulation and market-based instruments mainly for recycling, energy recovery and waste management, while eco-design, consumption and reuse are typically targeted with softer policy instruments such as information campaigns and labels. The report notes that monitoring progress on circular economy needs further investment. It also points out that circular economy policies and initiatives require better integration with bio-economy and climate policies.

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EU EEA: News, 01/10/2019: Europe's circular economy still in its infancy