Policy makers and business executives find it increasingly difficult to comprehend the different aspects of the concept of Circular Economy and how they can make a difference in their decisions, by “closing the loop” and increasing resource efficiency. This report answers to these uncertainties and provides guidelines towards policy areas that would require particular attention in the future for a functional and effective Circular Economy.
The report presents an array of basic concepts around resources, resource efficiency and the Circular Economy, which are essential for every policy maker to understand before setting out to propose resource policy solutions. The limitations and the opportunities within the Circular Economy are identified and clearly presented in an easy-to-follow format.
The current policy landscape in the EU as well as in Sweden is thoroughly analysed and a set of policy areas with a significant untapped potential for resource efficiency is identified. The policy areas which have been underutilised so far include policies for re-use, repair and remanufacturing; green public procurement and procurement for innovation with resource savings embedded in their design; policies to facilitate waste markets and improve take-back infrastructure; economic instruments targeting resources; and policies promoting sustainable consumption.
Together with these promising policy areas, a roadmap for designing such policies within policy packages is presented with the aim to facilitate the promotion of dynamic policy mixing, which is better suited for addressing the multi-level challenges of the Circular Economy. Finally, an agenda for future research in resource efficiency policies is discussed and the need for a bottom-up perspective –in par with overarching resource strategies – is emphasised.
All in all, this report will be a valuable resource to policy makers, business leaders and all aspiring Circular Economy practitioners who seek answers to the complex policy issues of Circular Economy.