Synergies and trade-offs in the transition to a resource-efficient and circular economy

The world's raw materials consumption is expected to nearly double by 2060. This is particularly alarming because materials extraction, processing, use and waste management lead to significant environmental pressures. A circular economy aims to transform the current linear economy into a circular model to reduce the consumption of finite material resources by recovering materials from waste streams for recycling or reuse, using products longer, and exploiting the potential of the sharing and services economy. This paper underlines the synergies policy makers can create between different resource-efficient and circular economy transition objectives when designing policy packages. It also highlights potential trade-offs that may arise in their implementation. The paper shows that the existing OECD policy analysis provides a toolkit for governments to take more ambitious actions toward a resource-efficient, circular economy. In addition, OECD modelling studies project that the transition can bring significant environmental gains while preserving economic growth and social objectives.

Available from December 20, 2022

In series:OECD Environment Policy Papersview more titles