Policy for Circular Economy: Prestudy for Improved Policy Development

  • Anna Karin JönbrinkEmail author
  • Jenny Sahlin
  • Åsa Moberg
  • Karin Wilson
  • Katja Dvali
  • Lena Youhanan


This paper describes mainly the approach and results from a project “Polcirkeln” within the research program RE:Source, funded by three Swedish agencies: the Swedish Energy Agency, Vinnova and Formas. The project Polcirceln has studied the current situation and possible future effects of various measures for a circular economy. Among others, the EU’s proposed policy package for a circular economy has been studied. A selection of today’s flows of products, materials and waste constitutes a starting point, and challenges and possible effects on material flows and sustainability have been formulated and analysed based on experiences and views from different actors in the value chain (mainly from industry) and other experts. Methods used in the study are, for example, interviews, web surveys, workshops and scenario analysis.

The importance of policies moving towards a more holistic approach to achieve more circular flows has been stressed by all stakeholders in the study described in the paper. Instead of dividing activities, obstacles and opportunities between waste, materials, production and consumption, a holistic approach should be introduced in the analysis of the challenges and designing of solutions. Another main finding is that a change to a circular economy needs an increased and developed cooperation between companies and other actors along the value chain; thus, there is a need to develop policies in order to support the new improved ways for cooperation.


Policies Regulations Circular economy Company engagement Supply chain Cooperation 



This project is done within the research program RE:Source, funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, Vinnova and Formas.


  1. 1.
    Braungart M, McDonough W, Bollinger A. Cradle-to-cradle design: creating healthy emissions–a strategy for eco-effective product and system design. J Clean Prod. 2007;15(13):1337–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Towards the circular economy: economic and business rationale for an accelerated transition. 2012.
  3. 3.
    Ellen Macarthur Foundation. Towards the circular economy: accelerating the scale-up across global supply chains. 2014.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sahlin J, Moberg Å, Jönbrink AK, Wilson K, Dvali K, Youhanan L. Slutrapport för projekt Polcirkeln–policy för cirkulär ekonomi (Final Report for the project in Swedish) Re:source number 42885-1. 2017.
  5. 5.
    Closing the loop–An EU action plan for the Circular Economy COM/2015/0614 final.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boks C. The soft side of ecodesign. J Clean Prod. 2006;14(15–16):1346–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dreborg KH. Scenarios and structural uncertainty. Diss. KTH Infrastruktur, 2004. 2004.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Börjeson L, Höjer M, Dreborg KH, Ekvall T, Finnveden G. Scenario types and techniques: towards a user's guide. Futures. 2006;38(7):723–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bishop P, Hines A, Collins T. The current state of scenario development: an overview of techniques. Foresight. 2007;9(1):5–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Karin Jönbrink
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jenny Sahlin
    • 2
  • Åsa Moberg
    • 3
  • Karin Wilson
    • 1
  • Katja Dvali
    • 2
  • Lena Youhanan
    • 3
  1. 1.Swerea IVF ABMölndalSweden
  2. 2.Profu ABMölndalSweden
  3. 3.IVL, Swedish Environmental InstituteStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations