Circular Economy

Photo: Wilma Hurskainen

In the circular economy resources are kept within the economy even when a product has reached the end of its life. The aim is to start by designing and manufacturing the products in a way that they can be used and recycled for as long as possible. The circular economy should not be confused with recycling, where the focus is on finding new uses for waste that has already been generated. 

Transition to the circular economy requires changes throughout value chains from product design to new business and market models and consumer behaviour. Despite its name, the circular economy is not a separate economy but a multisectoral and profound change in the modes and practices.

Government's goal: Finland is a forerunner in the circular economy by 2025

Among the objectives of Prime Minister Sipilä’s Government is that Finland is a forerunner in the circular economy by 2025. The key project on the bioeconomy and clean solutions contributes to reaching this objective.

The Finnish roadmap to a circular economy was prepared jointly by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the relevant ministries and other stakeholders to respond to the opportunities offered by the circular economy. The Government of Finland and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra also adopted a new action plan to promote the circular economy.

The potential of the circular economy has been studied in several projects.

EU Circular Economy Package

The European Commission proposal on the circular economy of December 2015 contains an extensive action plan and a number of proposals for legislative amendments in support of this. Most of the implementation of the package was to take place in 2016 and 2017.

One year after the Circular Economy Package the Commission published a “mini-package” including:

  • Report (EU) on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan and Annex (EU)
  • Communication (EU) on the role of waste-to-energy in the circular economy
  • Proposal for a Directive amending Directive 2011/65/EU on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS) (EU)
  • Press Release and Fact Sheet (EU)
Published 2017-08-31 at 11:00, updated 2017-12-01 at 15:44