AUTHOR: Marianne Kettunen
The shift to a circular economy in the EU will not be sustainable by default. It will only be so if it reflects the implications both within and outside the EU.
As the recent global saga of plastic waste recycling illustrates, if not carefully thought through, the EU’s internal policies can lead to adverse impacts outside the EU, including negative environmental and social impacts on developing countries.
On the other hand, several positive developments are also possible. For example, an EU-led push to implement clear and appropriately stringent product standards and criteria to support circularity can lead to the elevation and standardisation of circular economy related standards globally.
Ensuring sustainability of circular economy actions on a global scale requires cooperation between three key policy domains: circular economy, trade and development cooperation. The science-policy community has an important role to play in facilitating the dialogue between these different domains.
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