This report provides a cross-country review of waste, materials management and circular economy policies in selected OECD countries, drawing on OECD’s Environmental Performance Reviews for 11 countries during the period 2010-17. It presents the main achievements in the countries reviewed, along with common trends and policy challenges, and provides insights into the effectiveness and efficiency of waste, materials management and circular economy policy frameworks.
As the selected reviews were published over a seven-year period, information for some countries may be more recent than for others. Nevertheless, the policy recommendations emerging from the reviews may provide useful lessons for other OECD countries and partner economies.
Infrastructure has a major influence on whether resources can be preserved to use again or whether they are lost forever. For the most part, it has been designed for, and has perpetuated, the linear economy, the system of ‘take, make, use, throw’.
Working with academics from Resource Recovery from Waste at the University of Leeds, this report outlines three scenarios for England’s future with varying degrees of circularity. Green Alliance has analysed what infrastructure would be required under each of these scenarios for three common, high impact material streams from household waste: plastic, textiles and electrical equipment.
The European Commission and the European Investment Bank announce the selection of an Investment Advisor for the upcoming European Circular Bioeconomy Fund: the EU will make up to € 250 million available for innovative circular bio-economy companies and projects.
In 2012, the United Nations Environment Programme launched the Global Initiative for Resource-Efficient Cities (GI-REC) with the goal of applying integrated approaches and analyses such as urban metabolism in city planning and management (building on the work of the International Resource Panel).
After seven years, the first phase of the Initiative has brought together professionals from different disciplines, scientists, and policy makers. It has also brought together separate work streams of climate and resource efficiency, and how they are connected at the city level.
“Growing in Circles” summarises the GI-REC experience, and provides guidance on the transition of cities from a linear to a circular economy, and on alternatives to the way our cities are being planned and built.
The Plastic Atlas contains more than 49 detailed infographics covering a broad range of topics regarding the plastic pollution crisis looking along the entire value chain of plastic. The atlas highlights the scale of the crisis, and the global impacts of plastic production, consumption and disposal on other key global challenges such as human health and climate change. It also outlines the role of plastic for key industrial sectors such as agriculture and tourism and describes the corporate interests and drivers behind the plastic crisis. Finally, the Plastic Atlas presents an overview of key plastic-free regulations, zero waste solutions and a snapshot of the growing global movement working towards a future free from plastic pollution.
The previous Commission policy on resources management was part of the priority for jobs and growth and economic competitiveness. The circular economy will be no less important for the new political priority of climate neutrality; it will become one of the indispensable elements for meeting the EU’s ambitions.
EU climate policy and the circular economy are, by and large, complementary and mutually reinforcing. The circular economy is more than just another ‘product standards’ policy.
Circular economy products for the foreseeable future will require both technology push and market pull policies. The principal challenge will be to create ‘lead markets’ for the circular economy in combination with low-carbon products.
Textiles are fundamental to our society and employs millions of people worldwide, making it among the largest in the world and an important part of Europe's manufacturing industry. However, textile production and consumption cause significant environmental, climate and social impacts by using resources, water, land and chemicals and emitting greenhouse gases and pollutants.
In Europe, the sector employs 1.7 million people and Europeans consume on average 26 kg of textiles per person per year. This briefing by the European Environment Agency provides an EU perspective of the environmental and climate pressures from textile production and consumption, and discusses how circular business models and regulation can help move us towards a circular textiles economy.
This report by the EEA highlights that fostering circular material use requires a broad system perspective and extensive stakeholder involvement. The entire product lifecycle — including the design, production, consumption and waste phases — needs to be addressed in a coherent way. The enablers of and barriers to circular business models need to be well understood and addressed before innovation and competitiveness can be enhanced.
This policy paper by the Institute for European Environmental Policy examines the interface between the EU circular economy, trade and sustainable development. It identifies the expected global impacts associated with the EU’s shift to circularity and investigates the role of trade in either incentivising or hindering this process.
Finally, the paper highlights the links between the circular economy, trade and sustainable development, emphasising the need for better policy coherence among these areas in the EU.