Circular economy brings a new approach to waste and materials management, taking into account the whole life cycle of resources, while paying attention to supply conditions and availability of materials. It challenges industries, policy makers and the waste sector to re-evaluate their role, introduces new business models and changes the way products and services are provided. The ETC/WMGE project will look into specific product groups or value chains in this circular context, such as textiles and electronic products, to identify the current system as well as future scenarios in the circular economy. On a higher level, the link between circular economy strategies and reduction of environmental impacts from industrial pollution will be analysed. Of course, one would also like to be able to monitor progress in the transition towards the circular economy. The new system of a circular economy requires different tools to track progress. Therefore, attention will be paid to evaluate existing indicator frameworks and possible needs for further research and development.
The European Topic Centre on Waste and Materials in a Green Economy (ETC/WMGE) 2019-2021 is a consortium of European institutions, led by VITO (Belgium) and contracted by the European Environment Agency (EEA) to supply thematic expertise and carry out specific tasks identified in the EEA Multi-Annual Work Programme (MAWP) and specified in the EEA Annual Work Programmes (AWPs). The thematic areas in which the ETC/WMGE will support the EEA in 2019 are: waste management and prevention, resource efficiency, product policies and consumption, plastics and the environment, circular economy assessment, sectoral integration and green economy, environmental accounting, chemicals – indicators and assessment, forward looking information, knowledge base & capacity building, sustainability transitions, urban sustainability, and SOER 2020.
The Wuppertal Institute is involved in two central working aspects: