In a recently published report on ‘Paving the way for a circular economy: insights on status and potentials’, the European Environment Agency (EEA) – the EU’s agency tasked with providing sound and independent information on the environment – refers to the EuChemS Periodic Table highlighting element scarcity, illustrating the impact that Chemistry has on overarching policy issues both in Europe and worldwide. It is moreover testament of the far reaching impact of the EuChemS Periodic Table and its relevance in science-policy interactions.
The report looks at some of the challenges facing the implementation of a sustainable circular economy. In a departure from previous reports, it goes beyond a focus on overarching concepts of what circularity entails and specific aspects that define it. Rather, the report aims to analyse the ways forward and to provide insights into the current situation and areas of potential. It recognises that fostering ”circular material use requires a broad system perspective and extensive stakeholder involvement. The entire product lifecycle — including the design, production, consumption and waste phases — needs to be addressed in a coherent way. The enablers of and barriers to circular business models need to be well understood and addressed before innovation and competitiveness can be enhanced”. The EEA’s report moreover looks at the status of individual materials and the need to assess the real availability of a material by combining information on the supply risk and recycling input rates.
You can access and read the full report here.