In a circular economy, products and the materials they contain are highly valued. This contrasts with the traditional, linear economic model, which is based on a 'take-make-consume-throw away' pattern. In practice, a circular economy minimises waste through reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products.
Moving towards a more circular economy could deliver benefits, including reduced pressure on the environment; enhanced raw materials supply security; and increased competitiveness, innovation, growth and jobs. However, there are also challenges, such as finance, key economic enablers, skills, consumer behaviour, business models and multi-level governance.