Circular economy thinking is gaining widespread acceptance across the world as the required model to deliver a more sustainable and equitable society. Despite the wide in-principle support, the required changes have been slow to take off. The global economy is less than 9% circular with a linear extraction and disposal system still the norm. Change is required but a level of inertia is evident requiring public policies to facilitate the transition to a circular economy.
This section provides links to some of the policies within Australia that are designed to aid the shift to a circular economy. The ACE Hub Circular Economy diagram provides a key to some of the pathways where policies can assist in facilitating change (reuse, repair, recycling, design, energy recovery). Policies are developing along many of the pathways including the elimination or reduction of waste by reconfiguring the way products are produced. Government purchase decisions and changes to sustainable public procurement practices are seen as key conduits for change, driving the uptake of recycled content and potentially products that are more durable and designed for reuse.
Within Australia polices are developing at the national and state level that reflect the need to treat our waste better, increasing recycling, eliminating single use products and shifting away from our high dependence on landfill. Globally other policy changes are in progress facilitating the change towards a circular economy.
This section is by no means comprehensive but provides some links to policies and papers relevant to driving the change in practices and behaviours needed to develop the circular economy.