Due to changes in consumers’ perceptions, market expectations and considering natural resource constraints, major changes are taking place in the consumption and production chains. Circular economy thinking is fundamental to stay ahead of these changes.
In 2015 the European Commission itself put forward a package to help businesses and consumers shift to a circular economy approach. The proposals address the full lifecycle of products, from eco-design to consumption and waste management, also considering the reuse of secondary materials. To financially support this transition, the European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF) allocated €5.5 billion for waste management. In addition, €650 million has been made available under Horizon 2020 (the EU funding program for research and innovation).
Circular economy is not only a trending topic, it is also a real and concrete opportunity to create a new generation of businesses that will help achieve a more economically and environmentally sustainable growth.
Circular Economy’s 5R principle: reduce, reuse, refurbish, repair and recycle
Circular economy is an approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment. In contrast to the current linear model, the circular economy is based on 5 Rs principles: Reduce, Reuse, Refurbish, Repair and Recycle. Transitioning to a more circular economy, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained for as long as possible and the generation of waste is minimised, is an essential contribution to develop a competitive, sustainable, low-carbon and resource-efficient economy. At the urban level, cities can play a substantial role in this transition.