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Scoping Study to Identify Potential Circular Economy Actions, Priority Sectors, Material Flows & Value Chains

Scoping Study to Identify Potential Circular Economy Actions, Priority Sectors, Material Flows & Value Chains

The aim of the study was to provide an initial scoping assessment of potential priorities and policy options to support the transition to a circular economy in the EU. The study reviewed existing literature, identified potential priority areas for action where accelerating the circular economy would be beneficial and where EU policy has a particular role to play, and developed policy options for consideration across a range of areas.


Vanner, Robin et. al. 2014: Scoping study to identify potential circular economy actions, priority sectors, material flows & value chains.

English, French, Spanish
Robin Vanner (Policy Studies Institute)
Martha Bicket (Policy Studies Institute)
Sirini Withana (IEEP)
Patrick ten Brink (IEEP)
Paolo Razzini (IEEP)
Elizabeth van Dijl (IEEP)
Emma Watkins (IEEP)
Mathieu Hestin (BIO)
Adrian Tan (BIO)
Sarah Guilcher (BIO)
78 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1 Introduction
1.1 Structure of report
2 Understanding the circular economy
2.1 A circular economy versus a linear economy
2.2 Circular economy strategies
2.3 Circular economy "loops"
3 Barriers to a circular economy and how they can be overcome
4 Priority sectors, products, material flows and value chains
4.1 Background
4.2 Priority materials
4.3 Priority products and sectors
5 Mapping the current EU policy landscape
5.1 Current EU policies which support the circular economy
5.2 Current policies that (may) act as barriers to the circular economy
5.3 Scoping the extent to which additional action is needed
6 Case study analysis of prioritised circular economy areas
6.1 Case Study #1: Mobile phones and smart phones
6.2 Case Study #2: Metals and the transition to optimal use of steel
6.3 Case Study #3: Food supply
6.4 Case Study #4: Plastics
6.5 Factors supporting the realisation of circular economy opportunities
7 Policy options to support a circular economy in the EU
7.1 The role of regulatory instruments and approaches in encouraging circularity
7.2 Other instruments to incentivise action towards a circular economy
7.3 The role of public investment in encouraging circularity
7.4 Synthesis
8 Bibliography
9 Annexes