German Advisory Council on the Environment

Type:Environmental Report · date of issue 2021.01.27Circular economy: Putting ideas into practice

New English report on the circular economy
A circular economy is seen as the solution to resource scarcity and as an engine for employment and welfare in Europe and Germany. In reality, however, the use of primary raw materials continues to increase. In a report now published in English language, the SRU discusses which regulatory and economic instruments are needed to promote a circular economy.

Only a small portion of material needs is currently being met in a circular way, as waste management lags behind the requirements of a circular economy. People and markets need a product policy that combines a good standard of living with a lower demand for raw materials. The goal of reducing material flows must therefore be anchored in policy and greater attention must be paid to sufficiency. Products should be designed to be compatible with a circular economy and high-quality recycling must finally become a reality. To put the ideas into practice, policy makers have to adopt new measures and give them a clear ecological orientation. The report "Circular economy: Putting ideas into practice" is an abridged English version of Chapter 3 of the Environmental Report published by the SRU in German in May 2020.

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