Unlike the traditional linear economic model based on a 'take-make-consume-throw away' pattern, a circular economy is based on reuse, repair, refurbishment and recycling, in an (almost) closed loop.
Although waste management in the European Union (EU) has improved considerably in the past decades, almost a third of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between Member States. Improving waste management could deliver positive effects for the environment, climate, human health and the economy. As part of a shift in EU policy towards a circular economy, the European Commission made four legislative proposals introducing new waste-management targets regarding reuse, recycling and landfilling. The proposals also strengthen provisions on waste prevention and extended producer responsibility, and streamline definitions, reporting obligations and calculation methods for targets.