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Policies for transitioning towards a circular economy: Expectations from the European Union (EU)

"The circular economy is a much discussed pathway towards sustainability. While some scholarly work has been carried out on barriers towards a circular economy, there are relatively few academic studies on policies that may accelerate a transition towards a circular economy. Those that focus on policies mostly scrutinize existing policies. The study at hand utilizes data from semi-structured interviews with 47 public and private sector circular economy experts from the European Union to explore expectations regarding circular economy policies, with expectations possibly going beyond existing policies. Expectations identified via this work include more robust standards and norms in production, expansion of circular procurement, tax relief for circular products, liberalization of waste trading and its facilitation through virtual platforms, support for eco-industrial parks, and awareness campaigns. The set of policy recommendations is presented from a life-cycle perspective that is necessary for a transition towards a circular economy. The study aims to contribute to the nascent body of circular economy literature concerning policies and may be of particular interest to practitioners."
Kris Hartley, Ralf van Santen, Julian Kirchherr