The EU Interreg 2 Seas project FACET focuses on implementing circular solutions in the tourism and leisure sectors.
The circular economy is about migrating from the current business-as-usual linear system of production and consumption toward a system that focuses on valorising and circulating resources for environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
This white paper proposes a six-step framework for local authorities in their efforts to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.
This framework builds upon the experiences of the FACET project, which has accelerated the implementation of circular solutions in four local areas in the 2 Seas regions, as well as other existing literature and past European projects.
The framework for inclusive circular trade is designed to help guide trade and trade-related circular economy and development policies, practices and agreements to ensure these all work towards a shared goal of an inclusive circular economy.
This paper sets out a framework for inclusive circular trade, intended to enable a pathway in which circular trade helps to promote fair, inclusive and circular societies. The framework was developed through the work of an alliance of organizations spanning Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe.
Are there limits to robustness in our socio-economic metabolism? And is 100% circularity rate in the EU27 theoretically possible? Can we use principles and indicators from regenerative economics to develop (rather than just grow) regenerative circular economies?
Many actors see the EU’s circular economy (CE) as a promising narrative which steps outside dominant end-of-pipe solutions towards an encompassing vision for strategies across the supply chain. However, this study finds that the EU CE Action Plan maintains the status quo narrative instead of suggesting radical changes.
By focusing on stakeholder narratives, this analysis shows that the inertia is primarily due to CE proponents’ self-perception of being in a legitimacy crisis and their strategic arguments that have:
concealed social conflict and potential trade-offs
strengthened the agency of ‘status quo’ agents
excluded alternative voices questioning the proposed CE narrative.
The paper discusses how to develop new environmental narratives outside the status quo.
France's Law Against Food Waste has become an international model for sustainable food policy. The law is often described as combining economic efficiency with environmental protection and social equity. However, stakeholder narratives cast doubt on whether this French CE law really contributes to social justice in the long run. This discourse analysis shows that:
the ban on food waste institutionalised a narrative about food waste that prioritises profit over social equity
the traditionally dominant solidarity narrative about food waste has been pushed back by the emerging CE discourse
As a consequence of this shift, activities enacted in the name of the CE may counteract social equity goals (for instance by establishing competition with charities).
Policies are focusing on halving food waste to help conserve increasingly strained food resources. However, expanding their scope of action to include dietary changes and complement targets with resource footprints has greater potential to save resources while avoiding trade-offs.
This paper shows that in Germany:
Healthy, plant-based diets are more effective at reducing land and biomass use than halving food waste
A combination of more plant-based food consumption and food waste reduction in distribution and consumption is most effective at saving resources
Focusing exclusively on food waste reduction as a policy target can be detrimental to the overarching goal of saving resources because it deflects attention away from more effective alternatives.
The circular economy (CE) is gaining momentum in cities. To ensure a sustainable CE, it is crucial to measure the environmental performance of CE strategies. However, environmental assessments overlook several strategies that are a key feature of urban CE practice. These include reuse and repair, sustainable built infrastructure and urban land use, green public procurement, smart information and access technology.
To provide insights into the environmental performance and potential of these strategies, industrial ecologists and municipalities should:
collaborate with urban systems experts
quantify the environmental impacts of entire urban systems
combine environmental assessments with social and economic feasibility ones.
Many political, business and civil society stakeholders are disappointed with the German Packaging Act. They feel it makes a comparatively small contribution to the circular economy. This study explains why they are disappointed:
Policy-making became entangled in disputes between proponents of a private and a public system for waste collection. Stakeholder fears of potential radical changes led to a stalemate
Fears allowed only incremental changes in the Packaging Act
The incremental changes could not resolve existing conflicts.
Based on its findings, the paper proposes possible courses of action. To create a shift to a circular economy, dialogue is needed using methods which explicitly address fears and overcome the current stalemate.