Circular Economy: Measuring innovation in product chains

This Dutch study aims to explore how the transition to a circular economy can be measured in the production chain and focuses on asking relevant policy questions for plastic packaging (bottles and other plastic packaging) and electrical devices (washing machines and dryers, and fridges and freezers). However, it does not provide corresponding indicators.

Three types of CE-transitions are identified:
• CE-transitions that place the development of a specific, radical new technology central
• CE-transitions that place socio-economic change central
• CE-transitions that place socio-economic change central, made possible by enabling technology

The Dutch government wants to achieve several CE-goals:
• Reduce the use of resources and make the process more sustainable, while securitizing the supply
• Produce less waste and emissions, but generate more natural capital
• Increase earning capacity and employment

The main conclusion is that socio-institutional changes will pose a bigger challenge than technological innovation. Furthermore, three factors influence the acceptance of policy research; legitimacy, relevance and credibility.

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