RESEARCH PAPER
The Circular Economy in EU Policy as a Response to Contemporary Ecological Challenges
 
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Department of Economic Policy and European Regional Studies, UE we Wrocławiu/Wrocław University of Economics and Business, Polska
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Bernadeta Baran   

Department of Economic Policy and European Regional Studies, UE we Wrocławiu/Wrocław University of Economics and Business, Komandorska 118/120, 53-345, Wrocław, Polska
Submission date: 2019-08-08
Final revision date: 2019-09-30
Acceptance date: 2019-10-23
Publication date: 2019-12-27
 
GNPJE 2019;300(4):31–51
 
KEYWORDS
JEL CLASSIFICATION CODES
ABSTRACT
This article discusses contemporary environmental challenges resulting from human economic activity and the idea of the circular economy (CE) as a response to these problems. The aim is to compare EU countries in terms of the efforts they are making to implement the CE model and to indicate EU strategic goals in this area. Furthermore, the article looks at arguments for an urgent change of the paradigm based on a linear model to achieve more equitable prosperity within planetary boundaries. The article was written on the basis of a secondary sources review, including relevant literature, legal regulations and reports. Statistical data come mainly from Eurostat and PlasticsEurope databases. The analysis leads to the clear conclusion that in today’s resource-constrained world of rapid population growth, urbanisation and pollution, the linear model is no longer fit-for-purpose. The CE is also attractive economically. The transition will entail new investment (e.g. better design of production and recyclable materials, advanced sorting and chemical recycling) and contribute to cost reduction (saving of raw materials). For these reasons, the CE has become a strategic goal at the EU level as individual member countries have already acknowledged the need to modify their economies and grown aware of the benefits of the new model.
 
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