Circular economy

Europe: 1,800 billion profits in 15 years thanks to circular economy

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The current system is based on wasting: zero waste model is the solution, says Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Development is not a straight line, but rather a circle: this is the result of the latest study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. According to the study, the adoption of circular economy principles would allow Europe to gain 1,800 billion net profits by 2030, redoubling the chances of economic growth compared to the current linear pattern. A geometric revolution that will overturn the whole current system: from a linear system that goes from resources to waste, this revolution will lead to a new model where nothing is considered as waste and everything is constantly recycled.

This research was carried out by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment and the German Foundation for an environmentally sustainable economy. It constitutes the first global vision of how circular economy can take care of the three basic needs that make up 60% of the families’ expenses: food, mobility and shelter. The current development model strongly depends on limited resources: it is completely exposed to their instability, to poor efficiency, and to the lack of waste valorisation initiatives.

Researchers have identified “clear economic profits” that will arise from a transition towards the circular economy, as it ensures the most efficient management of products, components and materials.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a non-profit British organisation created in 2009 that promotes the transition towards an economic model based on regeneration. The study is divided into two researches: “Growth Within: a circular economy vision for a competitive Europe” and “Delivering the circular economy: a toolkit for policy-makers”. Both papers are available online at

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