The increasing resources’ constraints that EU is facing strongly condition its competitiveness and the quality of life of individuals. Important gains in resource efficiency can be made by replacing current linear economic models with circular models of production and consumption, which result, at the same time, in a substantial reduction of GHG emissions. While relying on industrial leadership, the success of circular economy models will depend on adopting a systemic approach to eco-innovation that encompasses value and supply chains in their entirety and engages all actors involved in such chains.
a) The testing and demonstration of circular value and supply chains, within cross sectorial, collaborative systemic approaches is expected to make measurable contributions in the medium term to:
- substantially improving the efficient use of resources in Europe, leading to significant reduction of adverse environmental impacts, including on climate change, and to optimisation of production;
- substantially reducing the generation of residual waste, by applying the principles of the waste hierarchy (as set in the Waste Framework Directive), compared to current best practice;
- creating new business opportunities for industry and SMEs in the EU, including in manufacturing, contributing to the exploitation of EU innovative solutions, and improving the competitiveness of European enterprises in the global market for eco-innovative solutions;
- demonstrating the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the proposed approaches and main elements that a business plan should include in order to realise them, including the assessment of possible positive and negative side-effects and risks, such as those associated with harmful substances potentially present in recycled materials;
- providing evidence-based knowledge for enabling framework conditions (such as the regulatory or policy framework) that facilitate a broader transition to the circular economy in the EU.
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