Circular Economy Toolkit for Policymakers

on 21 December 2021

The Netherlands is often seen as a pioneer in terms of the Circular Economy. At the same time, Dutch policy is evaluated bi-annually on its’ progress in terms of the circular transition in the Integral Circular Economy Report (ICER) that is published by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). Both in 2021 as in 2023 PBL was critical: if we don’t ‘climb’ on the R-ladder, our circular goals will remain out of reach. Action is not only needed on behalf of companies, but also in terms of governmental interventions. The ICER authors state that more compulsory measures are needed in the transition such as fiscal measures, standards and regulation.

This was one of the reasons why we decided to diver deeper in the set of existing (policy) measures that can be used to further accelerate the circular transition. Do these measures allow us to climb ‘higher on the R-ladder’, or are other policy measures left unutilized? Our analysis shows that:

  1. There is (too) much attention for recycling (R8), whereas more CO2-reduction can be realized by climbing higher on the “R-ladder”;
  2. The measures are primarily technical, whereas organizational and financial embedding is needed that we don’t only create circular products, but also circular value chains.

The publication is now also available in English.

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