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Relevance of Biodegradable and Compostable Consumer Plastic Products and Packaging in a Circular Economy

Relevance of biodegradable and compostable consumer plastic products and packaging in a circular economy

Relevance of...

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Author: 
Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd
Publication Date: 
03/2020
Country: 
EU

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In 2015, the European Commission adopted the Circular Economy Action Plan to help stimulate the transition towards circular economy. The growing number of plastic products and packaging marketed as ‘biodegradable’ or ‘(home) compostable’ raises the question of the extent to which biodegradability and compostability of plastic is beneficial in the context of the transition towards a circular economy.

The study assesses this question, identifying conditions in which (home) compostability of products could be of added value, compared to reuse and other forms of recovery. The results indicate weak evidence in favour of beneficial agronomics associated with compostable plastic material. Choices of materials for products and packaging should prioritise recyclability over compostability.

Textiles - from waste to resource by 2030

IVA

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Author: 
Elin Larsson
Publication Date: 
01/2020
Country: 
Sweden

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has issued a report on how to make the textile sector more sustainable. It provides proposals for a more resource-efficient and smart textile sector, covering topics such as challenges and definitions of solutions towards a smarter sector. It suggests, for instance, to introduce tax relief programmes and industrial parks for resource-efficient textile production.

This report is one of several sector reports from IVA project Resource Effectiveness and Circular Economy (ReCE). The purpose is to make Sweden more competitive in a future with finite resources in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The project has established platforms for dialogue between actors in the public and private sectors.

Lessons Learnt from Circular Procurement Pilots

Circular Public Procurement

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Author: 
ICLEI
Publication Date: 
03/2021
Country: 
Germany

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Between 2017 and 2020, Aalborg (Denmark), Malmö (Sweden) and Smiltene and Pļaviņas (Latvia) piloted innovative new approaches to buying circular goods and services as part of the Circular PP project. Their experiences have been collated in this report, which is a very useful guide for public buyers interested in trying out circular procurement. A summary of the report is also available.

The main results and lessons from six public procurement pilot schemes are outlined in the report:

  • Buying back ICT equipment (City of Aalborg)
  • Outdoor learning environment tender (City of Aalborg)
  • Non-new furniture tender (City of Malmö)
  • Waste management tender (City of Malmö)
  • Catering services for schools (Latvia)
  • Furniture for school dormitories (Latvia)

Policy Lab for Circular Economy - Vol. I

Veltha logo

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Author: 
Carlo Polidori, Elisa Alonso, Gabriel Carlin
Publication Date: 
02/2021
Country: 
Belgium

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Daniela Brucoli Contact details

This publication is the first outcome of the Policy Lab 2.0. It sets itself as the result of the fruitful collaboration between cross-regional officers and stakeholders in their attempt to co-build new standards for circularity. They are also willing to provide effective solutions for the main challenges European regions need to face in the transition towards a circular economy (CE).

This report provides valuable insights into the creation of a common set of circularity criteria for the overall assessment of CE projects, with the aim of providing European regions with the right tool to foster a smooth transition towards a CE. It also emphasises the importance of promoting cross-regional knowledge through education and training.

A System Change Compass - Implementing the European Green Deal in a time of recovery

A System Change Compass - Implementing the European Green Deal in a Time of Recovery

A System Change Compass

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Author: 
Janez Potočnik, Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Martin R. Stuchtey, Matthias Ballweg, Christina Bukow, Faustine Delasalle, Bertram Kloss, Isabel Lewren, Julia Metzner, Julia Okatz, Milan Petit, Katharina Pollich, Anna Schwarzmann, Adrien Vincent
Publication Date: 
10/2020
Country: 
EU, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom

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Julia Metzner Contact details

The European Green Deal provides the impetus to find more resilient, fair and sustainable economic systems. To deliver this ambition and recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, a systemic approach is needed.

The System Change Compass re-examines the driving forces of our socio-economic system, addressing the issues of resource consumption and environmental pressures.

The report presents future-fit policy directions and economic ecosystems (among them, nature-based, circular materials), and shows how these can better serve our societal needs and work within planetary boundaries. It also highlights 50+ champion orientations outlining a next-generation industrial landscape, with investable opportunities for jobs and a more sustainable future via COVID-19 recovery funds.

Sustainable Plastics Strategy

Suschem logo

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Author: 
Maria Estela Izquierdo, Patricia Vangheluwe, Gilles Dennler, Bertrand Fillon, Nieves Gonzalez
Publication Date: 
02/2021
Country: 
Belgium

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The report on Sustainable Plastics Strategy was prepared by the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) and its partners: Cefic, PlasticsEurope, European Plastics Converters (EuPC) and the European Composites, Plastics and Polymer Processing Platform (ECP4).

One of the keys to tackling plastic waste is the creation of a circular economy. However, the circular economy for plastics is not just about waste. Eliminating leakage and stepping up the use of secondary materials may be part of the picture, but the transition to renewable inputs completes it.

This report outlines the future research needed to fulfil the objectives of the European Strategy for Plastics and the Green Deal priorities.

Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) on Circular Economy

Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) on Circular Economy

CICERONE logo

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Author: 
IVL – Alexandra Wu, Åsa Stenmarck, Jurate MiliutePlepiene, Henrik Johansson, ENEA – Roberta de Carolis, Claudia Brunori, Priscilla Reale, Cristian Chiavetta and Erika Mancuso, RVO – Antoinet Smits, GKZ - Wolfgang Reimer, Mengchun Lee, Markus Reuter, CEA - Arnaud Witomski, Sébastien Sylvestre, Jülich - Jean-Francois Renault, VITO - Dirk Nelen, Kévin Le Blevennec, Karl Vrancken, VTT - Henna Sundqvist-Andberg, IETU - Izabela Ratman-Kłosińska, WI - Bettina Bahn-Walkowiak, Carina Koop, Bluenove – Natacha Dufour, Adina Tatar, Chloe Schiellein, CKIC – Laura Nolan, Cliona Howie, LGI - Vincent Chauvet, Gabor Szendro
Publication Date: 
09/2020
Country: 
Spain

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CICERONE is a group of European programme owners, researchers and businesses seeking to build a platform for an efficient circular economy. Its report Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) on Circular Economy aims to help owners and funders of European circular economy programmes adopt a systemic approach to circular economy transition.

The SRIA was developed based on eight priority themes (biomass and biotechnologies, chemicals, construction and demolition, food, plastic, raw materials, waste and water) and builds on four societal areas that face sustainability challenges (urban areas, industrial systems, value chains and territory and sea) to identify priority areas to tackle EU region-wide issues and facilitate the circular economy transition.

Plastics, the circular economy and Europe′s environment — A priority for action

Plastics, the circular economy and Europe's environment - A priority for action

© iStock.com/Thomas Faull

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Author: 
Lars Fogh Mortensen (EEA), Ida Lippert Tange (EEA), Åsa Stenmarck (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute), Anna Fråne (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute), Tobias Nielsen (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute), Nils Boberg (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute), Fredric Bauer (Lund University)
Publication Date: 
01/2021
Country: 
EU

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Plastics play an essential role in modern society, but they also lead to significant impacts on the environment and climate. Reducing such impacts while retaining the usefulness of plastics requires a shift towards a more circular and sustainable plastics system.

This report tells the story of plastics and their effect on the environment and climate, and looks at their place in a European circular economy.

The Khalifa Award Report: turning the date palm industry circular

The Khalifa Award Report

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Author: 
Sandra Piesik, Abdelouahhab Zaid
Publication Date: 
01/2021
Country: 
Netherlands, Other (United Arab Emirates)

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Sandra Piesik Contact details

Data palms are becoming ever more important globally and in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). The Khalifa Award Report, inspired by 46 contributors in 21 countries, focuses on the 5 Ps - People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships - which shape the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The bio-circular economic potential of the date palm industry has yet to be explored. In some cases, it is a necessity that can save lives in oases prone to fire hazards caused by climate change; it can also provide new green jobs in the sustainable economy transition. The European circular economy transition can serve as a model for adaptation in the MENA region.

More info on date palm recycling on pages 162-3 of the report.

Universal circular economy policy goals

Universal CE policy goals

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has identified five universal circular economy policy goals that provide a framework for national governments, cities and businesses to create a transition that fosters innovation and decouples growth from finite resource consumption and environmental degradation.

As governments and industries around the globe move towards a circular economy, it is key to align ambitions and collaborate effectively. The five goals provide a blueprint for cooperation and the private and public sectors need to pull together to achieve them. The goals acknowledge that the relevant policies are interconnected, which will help avoid creating a patchwork of solutions.

Rijkswaterstaat: proudly engineering sustainability in the Netherlands

Rijkswaterstaat: proudly engineering sustainability in the Netherlands

Rijkswaterstaat

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Author: 
Rijkswaterstaat
Publication Date: 
05/2019
Country: 
Netherlands

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The Netherlands faces major challenges in the domain of sustainability. Its ambition is to create a circular economy and ultimately eliminate CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases altogether. What does that mean for Rijkswaterstaat?

This report contains a selection of sustainability highlights by Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management). Inspiring tales of what can be achieved by making full use of everyone’s knowledge and experience, but also a fascinating description of how Rijkswaterstaat has evolved into a sustainable executive organisation for the entire national government.

Leveraging Circular Economy Innovation - Selected Case Studies from EIT Climate-KIC's City Loops Circular Innovation Programme

EIT Climate-KIC

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Author: 
Carolin Hendrys, Susanne Volz, Martin Stavenhagen, Raymond Slaughter, Dina Padalkina, Mariyana Hamanova, Leon Bucher, Shona McElroy, Jamie Brogan, Jana Nicolas
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
Germany

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Carolin Hendrys Contact details

The intention of EIT Climate-KIC's City Loops Programme is to build circular capacity by addressing cross-sectoral collaboration on a system-level, and within an urban context. To achieve this, each of the five project partners - Circular Berlin, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), Provadis Hochschule (Frankfurt), Cleantech Bulgaria (Sophia) and Wuppertal Institute - held various workshops in 2020 implementing a 'Circularity Thinking Innovation Process'.

The following case studies give an overview of the different situations circular economy innovation tools can be applied to and the value it creates.

Circular economy in Africa-EU cooperation: Rwanda report

Rwanda photo

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Author: 
Whyte, C. R., Irakoze, G., Katanisa, P., Desmond, P., Hemkhaus, M., Ahlers, J., Van Hummelen, S., McGovern, M., Artola, I.
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
EU

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The Commission's DG Environment and DG for International Cooperation and Development commissioned a study on the circular economy in Africa, and eight country reports were drawn up in preparation for a continent-wide report on the prospects of the circular economy in Africa.

The Rwanda report examines the scope and status of the circular economy there. It looks at the policy framework, trade and investments and the impact and benefits of the circular economy. It also explores circular economy-related cooperation between the EU and Rwanda. It concludes that the government is acting on circular economy principles and is well placed to be the regional hub for Africa in the area of the circular economy.

Circular economy in Africa-EU cooperation: Senegal report

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Author: 
Bonnaire, S.M., Jagot, J., Spinazzé, C., Potgieter, J.E., Rajput, J., Hemkhaus, M., Ahlers, J., Koehler, J., Van Hummelen, S., McGovern, M.
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
EU

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The Commission's DG Environment and DG for International Cooperation and Development commissioned a study on the circular economy in Africa, and eight country reports were drawn up in preparation for a continent-wide report on the prospects of the circular economy in Africa.

The Senegal report examines the scope and status of the circular economy there. It looks at the policy framework, trade and investments and the impact and benefits of the circular economy. It also explores circular economy-related cooperation between the EU and Senegal. It concludes that Senegal is promoting the green economy as a way to meet basic social needs and support sustainable development, and has adopted a national circular economy policy.

Circular economy in Africa-EU cooperation: Nigeria report

Nigeria photo

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Author: 
Rajput, J., Potgieter, J., Aigbokhan, G., Felgenhauer, K., Smit, T.A.B., Hemkhaus, M., Ahlers, J., Van Hummelen, S., Chewpreecha, U., Smith, A., McGovern, M.
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
EU

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The Commission's DG Environment and DG for International Cooperation and Development commissioned a study on the circular economy in Africa, and eight country reports were drawn up in preparation for a continent-wide report on the prospects of the circular economy in Africa.

The Nigeria report examines the scope and status of the circular economy there. It looks at the policy framework, trade and investments and the impact and benefits of the circular economy. It also explores circular economy-related cooperation between the EU and Egypt. It concludes that there has been no real circular economy shift away from Nigeria's dependence on oil.

Circular economy in Africa-EU cooperation: Morocco report

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Author: 
Diaco, M., Alami Merrouni, M., Bougarrani, S., Koehler, J., Hemkhaus, M., Ahlers, J., Desmond, P., Van Hummelen, S., McGovern, M.
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
EU

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The Commission's DG Environment and DG for International Cooperation and Development commissioned a study on the circular economy in Africa, and eight country reports were drawn up in preparation for a continent-wide report on the prospects of the circular economy in Africa.

The Morocco report examines the scope and status of the circular economy there. It looks at the policy framework, trade and investments and the impact and benefits of the circular economy. It also explores circular economy-related cooperation between the EU and Morocco. It concludes that while Morocco is committed to implementing policies in favour of the circular economy, the concept is fairly new.

Circular economy in Africa-EU cooperation: Kenya report

Kenya photo

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Author: 
Karcher, S.Y., Wekesa, Z.W., Waweru, J.K., Käsner, S., Desmond, P., K., Smit, T.A.B., Hemkhaus, M., Ahlers, J., Van Hummelen, S., Chewpreecha, U., Smith, A., McGovern, M.
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
EU

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Sector:

The Commission's DG Environment and DG for International Cooperation and Development commissioned a study on the circular economy in Africa, and eight country reports were drawn up in preparation for a continent-wide report on the prospects of the circular economy in Africa.

The Kenya report examines the scope and status of the circular economy. It looks at the policy framework, trade and investments and the impact and benefits of the circular economy. It also explores circular economy-related cooperation between the EU and Kenya. It concludes that Kenya can be seen as one of Africa's frontrunners in furthering a transition to circular economy but still has steps to make to mainstream it further in its broader economic policy framework.

Circular economy in Africa-EU cooperation: Ghana report

Ghana report photo

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Author: 
Hemkhaus, M., Ahlers, J., Kumi, E., Boateng, P., Hack, J., Bauer, T., Smit, Tycho, Akenji, L., Van Hummelen, S., McGovern, M.
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
EU

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The Commission's DG Environment and the DG for International Cooperation and Development commissioned a study on the circular economy in Africa, and eight country reports were drawn up in preparation for a continent-wide report on the prospects of the circular economy in Africa.

The Ghana report examines the scope and status of the circular economy there. It looks at the policy framework, trade and investments and the impact and benefits of the circular economy. It also explores circular economy-related cooperation between the EU and Ghana. It concludes that while Ghana has become one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most politically stable economies, various issues prevent it from moving to a circular model.

Circular economy in Africa-EU cooperation: Egypt report

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Author: 
Mahmoud, M;, Rademaekers, K., Hemkhaus, M., Ahlers, J., Van Hummelen, S., Chewpreecha, U., Smith, A., McGovern, M.
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
EU

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The European Commission's DG Environment and the DG for International Cooperation and Development commissioned a study on the circular economy in Africa, and eight country reports were drawn up in preparation for a continent-wide report on the prospects of the circular economy in Africa.

The Egypt report examines the scope and status of the circular economy there. It looks at the policy framework, trade and investments and the impact and benefits of the circular economy. It also explores circular economy-related cooperation between the EU and Egypt. It concludes that the macro-economic and structural reforms enacted recently by the Egyptian government helped the economy grow but did not improve social conditions due to high inflation rates from 2016 to 2018.

Sustainability and circularity in the textile value chain - global stocktaking

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Author: 
Philippa Notten (The Green House)
Publication Date: 
10/2020
Country: 
Other (Kenya)

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This UNEP report aims to apply an evidence-based value chain approach, mapping the textile value chain with its stakeholders, as well as environmental and socio-economic impacts along different value chain stages.

Based on this analysis, the report identifies associated hotspots in all sustainability dimensions. Giving examples of the many initiatives that are already being undertaken, the report outlines gaps, barriers and opportunities to work towards a more sustainable and circular textile value chain, highlighting priority actions.

The report concludes that circularity goes beyond incremental improvements and requires a system-wide approach, transforming the way textiles are designed, produced, consumed, and disposed of.

Preserving value in EU industrial materials - A value perspective on the use of steel, plastics and aluminium

Preserving value in EU industrial materials

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Author: 
Robert Westerdahl, Per Klevnäs, Per-Anders Enkvist
Publication Date: 
11/2020
Country: 
Sweden

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So far, the debate on material use and recycling has primarily been held in terms of tonnes, cubic metres, and environmental impact. This is all highly relevant, but a focus on volumes and flows also leaves important questions unanswered.

The report takes a step towards painting a more complete picture, taking an economic value perspective on material flows, and it assesses Europe’s use of steel, plastics and aluminium in terms of Euros instead of tonnes. Its objective is to answer the following questions:

  1. When 100 Euros worth of raw materials enter the European economy, how much economic value is retained after one cycle of use?
  2. What are the main reasons for loss of material value?
  3. How could more value be retained?
  4. What business opportunities arise as a result?

Circular Czechia 2 - A circular economy as an opportunity for successful innovations of Czech firms

Circular Czechia 2 - The circular economy as an opportunity for innovative Czech firms

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Author: 
The Institute for the Circular Economy, Direct People, JIC ( South Moravian Innovation Centre)
Publication Date: 
11/2020
Country: 
Czech Republic

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This report follows on from the publication Circular Czechia from July 2018, exploring the circular economy in the Czech Republic.

The report explains how innovation has developed in this field since 2018, and aims to be an inspiration for firms, organisations and authorities on how to implement circular principles. It sets out a wide selection of good practices from the Czech Republic, and includes the retail, wastewater treatment, transport, construction and furniture sectors. 

Innovation competition for sustainable plastic use: How do we shape a sustainable food system?

Innovation competition for sustainable plastic use: How do we shape a sustainable food system?

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Author: 
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Publication Date: 
10/2020
Country: 
Sweden

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This report describes innovation competition as a method of tackling major environmental challenges, specifically how to provide food sustainably and resource-efficiently in the future.

Two teams with expertise in plastics, logistics and sustainability developed solutions focused on a more regional food supply enabling us to reduce the amount of plastic, packaging and transport used. The winning submission is a conversion tool describing the principles of sustainable production and consumption of food.

The Future of Work: Baseline Employment Analysis and Skills Pathways for the Circular Economy in Scotland

The Future of Work: Baseline Employment Analysis and Skills Pathways for the Circular Economy in Scotland

The Future of Work

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Author: 
Leonore te Bokkel, Fiona Craig and Sarah Wotton, Zero Waste Scotland, Esther Goodwin Brown and Joke Dufourmont, Circle Economy
Publication Date: 
10/2020
Country: 
Netherlands

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Contact: 
Circle Economy

This report explores the implications of the transition towards the circular economy for the Scottish labour market. It presents a baseline measurement of the number and geographical distribution of jobs currently related to the circular economy in Scotland and explores the types of circular jobs, roles and skills associated with opportunity areas in three value chains: construction, bioeconomy and capital equipment.

Circle Economy and Zero Waste Scotland designed this report to support enterprise agencies, workforce development, governments, universities, employers and other representatives to recognise the potential of the circular economy for the Scottish labour market and the related skills development needs of its workforce as part of a just transition.

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