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The Circular Economy

The Circular Economy

A Review of Definitions, Processes and Impacts
Transition to a European Circular Economy

The promise of the circular economy is to reduce the use of natural resources while improving the economic and social results of the economy. The EU has made the move to a more circular economy one of its key ambitions, motivated by the knowledge that a long-standing commitment to protect the environment must be reconciled with the fact that some Member States strive to boost economic growth and employment. Ecologic Institute leads a new EU-funded H2020 project called CIRCULAR IMPACTS, which seeks to analyze the impacts of the transformation to a circular economy and help policy makers identify the process changes, policies and sectors where the double dividend of the circular economy can be reaped. The first report of CIRCULAR IMPACTS is now available for download and provides an overview of the various definitions and processes of a circular economy transition.


Rizos, Vasileios et. al. 2017: The Circular Economy. A Review of Definitions, Processes and Impacts.

Vasileios Rizos (CEPS)
Katja Tuokko (CEPS)
Arno Behrens (CEPS)
46 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1 Introduction
2 The circular economy
2.1 Origins
2.2 Definitions
2.3 Criticism
3 Circular economy processes
3.1 Identification of main circular economy processes
3.2 Application in different sectors and expected effects
4 Impacts
4.1 Economic impacts
4.2 Environmental impacts
4.3 Social impacts
5 Conclusions
6 Bibliography
7 Annex
Annex I: Interviewed experts
List of partners

Linear economy, cycle-based evidence base, labor market effects, European semester, resources, products economic form, economic growth, recycling, waste production, waste management, Europe