As one of the EU’s three main development priorities, the 10-year development strategy Europe 2020 proposes sustainable growth, i.e. promoting a more green and competitive economy that uses the available resources more efficiently.
The central aspect of this strategy is the transition from the existing linear to the circular economy, an economic model that ensures sustainable management of resources and extending the useful life of materials and products.
The goal of this model is to reduce waste generation to the lowest possible level, and not only the waste resulting from the production processes, but systematically during the entire life cycle of the products and their components.
For the transition to the circular economy, which essential for the completion of the programme for the efficient use of resources under the Europe 2020 strategy for smart and sustainable growth, changes are required in the entire value chain, from product design to new business and market models, from the new methods of turning waste into resources, to new consumer behaviour patterns.
In this sense, waste management policy contributes by promoting reduced generation of waste through the development of the functional waste management system, whose goal is to use waste as a valuable resource.
In circular economies, added value of the product is kept as long as possible and no waste is produced. The resources are kept within the economy after the useful life of products expires in order to use them productively, thus creating new added value.