It is very unlikely that we can realize the vision of a circular economy without significant policy interventions. Unless the right policy framework is in place, new businesses with circular business models find it difficult to compete in a “linear” economy. Further, we cannot expect consumers to drive the necessary changes as consumers are constrained by the current circumstances, such as the choices available in the market and limited access to relevant information. Indeed, the European Commission has proposed a large number of policy interventions in their Circular Economy Action Plan. Some of these policies should be adopted by the EU, but we also need policies at the national, regional, and local levels.

Therefore, the aim is to explore REES and the interactions at the policy level. This research integrates knowledge from REES Phase 1, though with a different focus, as well as uses several new approaches, and aims to examine new policies and policy areas. This is done to identify
what policies, policy packages, and laws affect different types of REES, identify interrelations between policies, and gain a deeper understanding of the interrelations between business models, business practice, product and service design, and policy drivers.

It will also provide a deeper understanding of the relations between actors and markets in relation to resource flows, look at potential resources and policies and laws that affect the resource flows, elaborate on new policies, and examine the potential for Swedish industrial policy to examine cases where Sweden could take the lead and prioritize which policy interventions are of highest relevance.

To conclude, the focus will be on several polices issues, e.g., identifying areas where new, progressive policies are necessary, ”bottom-up” studies of new companies with circular business models, and an analysis of specific policies and policy issues.