The circular economy is attracting significant interest worldwide, as evidenced by the numerous government strategies, business commitments and partnerships devoted to its development. At the EU level, the Action Plan for the Circular Economy and several other policy documents have demonstrated a strong commitment to move towards a low-carbon and circular economy. While the calls for a new economic model grow louder, it is clear that the transformation of markets and industries on a large scale will not be an easy achievement. It will require well-designed and ambitious policies to foster the transition as well as new business models. Against this background, CEPS brought together executives from major multinational companies as well as representatives of business associations, non-governmental organisations and research institutes to form a Task Force charged with tackling the immense challenges associated with the circular economy. This report is the outcome of their deliberations. It analyses the key obstacles that need to be addressed, explores numerous policy areas at the EU and national level where support can act as a catalyst for market transformation, and puts forward actionable policy recommendations.
Laura Cutaia, researcher at ENEA, is an Environmental Engineer (1996) with a PhD in raw materials engineering (2002). Her main research topics are:
Industrial ecology and symbiosis,
Technology for raw and secondary materials treatment,
Life Cycle Assessment,
End of life management.
Laura Cutaia is responsible for making the most of resources at ENEA , where she is working on the circular economy and resource efficiency, industrial ecology and symbiosis, LCA, environmental certification schemes, the REACH regulation and sustainable industrial areas (more information).
Laura Cutaia is also president of SUN - Symbiosis Users Network (Italian network for industrial symbiosis) and president of UNI CT 057 on the circular economy that works with ISO TC 323 on the circular economy. UNI is the Italian body responsible for standardisation.
As is the case with Mr. Jourdain, who was unaware of what he was writing, industries involved in packaging have already implemented the circular economy model. Results in material recycling are relevant proof thereof. Industries are not getting involved in this process out for ideological reasons but because it often makes sense from an economical point of view. Since we were lucky enough not to be starting from scratch, we offered a tangible approach through illustration for each main material and/or packaging category from: glass to paper, cardboard, food cartons, steel, aluminum, wood, and plastic materials. This also includes the energy consumed by the different materials and the waste produced by all the different activities involved. By digesting some of the best existing or developing practices, we wish to make the circular economy model a fully-fledged part of the packaging sector.
As an adviser for environmental and climate policy, Leon de Graaf particularly follows policies related to the circular economy, trade and climate, low-emission mobility, implementation of the Paris climate agreement (COP21) and the European emission trading system (EU ETS). He is also deputy manager of BusinessEurope's corporate Advisory and Support Group (ASGroup). Prior to joining BusinessEurope, Leon worked at the research consultancy Ecorys, focusing on renewable energy and international development issues, at DG COMP on energy and environmental subsidies in Europe, and at the Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) on indirect ETS costs for energy-intensive industries. Leon has a MSc in environmental economics and climate change from the London School of Economics, and a BSc in business economics from the University of Groningen.