Today, we live in a linear economy and the current situation is a product of past ideas on effective markets, legal concepts and legal culture, business models and ideas on ownership and consumer culture. For us to move to a more circular economy, we need to start questioning how we look at products, markets, ownership and resources.
As a foundation for this process, this report highlights what the circular economy is about and some key issues we need to address to move towards a circular economy. It also highlights the need to connect the business and policy developments related to the circular economy to other sustainability fields, such as climate change and chemicals, and to place it within the broader context of sustainable consumption. A circular economy is not only about taking care of our resources; we must also ensure that all humans have access to the resources they need to live a decent life. Thus, the social dimensions of the circular economy should not be neglected: it must be an economy that benefits all humans.
Key messages from the report:
This paper is part of a series that supports the Stockholm+50: Unlocking a better future report.
Corrections, 16 October 2023: The heading on p. 16 has been changed to “Introducing a repair norm in Sweden?” and missing text from the last sentence on p. 19 has been added: “Further, by setting progressive sustainability criteria in public procurement (discussed below), some linear products will not pass the test.”
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