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Facts on circular economy in the EU & worldwide: what, where, who & how

6. How can the consumer contribute to a more circular economy?

    By their choices, millions, if not billions of consumers can support or hamper the successful transition to a circular economy for improved and new types of products and services. However, a major obstacle, also underlined by the EASAC report, remains: consumer attitudes and behaviour, always more influenced and driven by fashions and the marketing of industrialists and traders than by the concerns of obsolescence or recycling ...

    It is thus crucial to raise consumers’ awareness and to increase their proactive role19. The EU’s action plan on the Circular economy20 lays out five axes of action that will help consumers to choose products and services that are better for the environment and, at the same time, provide monetary savings and an increased quality of life21:

    • Encourage reduction, reuse and repair of products(the 3 “Rs”);
    • Promote energy savings as well as the efficiency, durability and recyclability of products ;
    • Improve the enforcement of existing rules  on guarantees and tackle false "green claims" and planned obsolescence ;
    • Support an increasing focus on “buying green”  by governments and public bodies;
    • Improve reliable and adequate consumer information  

    Furthermore, increased demand of consumers for products and services that are supportive of the circular economy will also create new business opportunities.


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