A circular economy mindset is already deeply ingrained in the Finnish technology industry. Processes are planned so as to eliminate waste and ensure that products and materials, and the value they contain, are retained or even increased in the cycle. Recyclable materials and raw materials will replace virgin raw materials obtained from nature.
The circular economy begins with design. It must be possible to keep long-life products in circulation throughout their life cycles. Chemical legislation must be developed so that it takes into consideration the actual risks and does not prevent safe cycles. The waste hierarchy should recognise the recyclability of different material streams and pay better consideration to reuse as well as utilisation as energy. Long global supply chains require global solutions for data management.
Markets are the best promoters of the circular economy. Reinforcing a culture of experimentation and making voluntary commitments can help companies to manage the risks related to new operating methods and the sustainable use of natural resources, as well as to create new solutions that support the circular economy without needing to increase the amount of national legislation. The purpose of regulation is to enable and accelerate the circular economy, not to prevent it. Legislation provides the best support for the opportunities of the circular economy when unnecessary barriers are eliminated.
- The circular economy can be accelerated by strengthening research, development and innovation and by creating an encouraging and agile operating environment for new business models and market development that supports the circular economy. By investing more in RDI, experiments, advice and support for demonstration projects can be enabled. We should create functional, fair markets for raw materials and promote the achievement of circular economy targets, including via public procurements.