MAKE MORE WITH LESS: RESOURCE EFFICIENCY
A more efficient use of resources is a key pillar for the transition towards a circular economy in Europe. Important progress has already been made over the past decades (for instance, the overall resource productivity of European economies has increased by approximately 40% since 20004), however, the current linear “Take-Make-Waste” economic model is still highly resource-intensive. With the EU Circular Economy Action Plan adopted in 2015, the European Commission stresses the economic case to increasing resource efficiency as an opportunity to generate new and sustainable competitive advantages for the EU. Transitioning from the current linear economy model towards a circular economy model by ‘closing the loop’ of product life cycles through better reuse and recycling has benefits for the environment and the economy7. The Circular Economy ActionPlan identified plastics as a key priority. To address the challenges posed by plastics throughout the value chain, the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy8 was adopted in 2018 and aims at transforming the way plastic products are designed, used, produced and recycled in the EU.