Circular economy market

How we implement the circular economy programme

Estimates on the value of the global market supporting the circular economy are in the hundreds of billions of euros. The circular economy and technological advances are an opportunity for Europe to improve the productivity of resources by up to three per cent annually and increase its GDP by about 0.5 per cent by 2030.

In Finland, the growing circular economy market will create new and environmentally sustainable economic growth in the long term. The circular economy market can be promoted with a suitable combination of policy instruments, such as product eco-design legislation, economic incentives, and cooperation between the authorities in circular economy projects. The circular economy market will grow faster once people discover the services and find them appealing.

What we do and where we are now:

1. We are active in developing legislation and product policy measures that support the circular economy in the European Union.

  • The proposals of the  the EU’s circular economy action plan published in March 2022 will enhance the sustainability or product policy, reduce the amount of waste and make it easier for consumers to act sustainably. The focus is on key sectors in terms of sustainability, such as electronics, batteries and vehicles, packaging, plastics, textiles, construction and buildings, and food, water and nutrients. Responsible organisations: Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Ministry of Justice.

2. We will develop cooperation between the authorities in circular economy projects.

  • The Pirkanmaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment organised a series of workshops for developing cooperation between the authorities in the autumn of 2021. Recommendations for developing cooperation between authorities in circular economy projects were published were published in February 2022  (in Finnish). The recommendations focus e.g. on promoting networking, facilitating experimentation, better access to and sharing of information, and allocating more resources for foresight work and risk management. Responsible organisations: Ministry of the Environment and Pirkanmaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.
  • There have also been discussions with representatives of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment on the structures, operating models, expertise and support that are needed to promote the circular economy. Responsible organisation: Ministry of the Environment.

3. We will promote a stronger market for recycled materials.

  • A working group on developing new products out of recovered materials was set up (in Finnsih). It will monitor decision-making in different cases and develop practices and legislation for determining when waste material is no longer waste. Responsible organisation: Ministry of the Environment.
  • We will examine the opportunities related to the obligation to use recovered materials and to voluntary guidance in new material and product groups, especially with respect to plastics but also nutrients, concrete and textiles. The work will be completed in early 2023. Responsible organisation: Ministry of the Environment.
  • We will promote the utilisation of models adopted for the circular economy in mining and extraction industry (in Finnish). The aim is to utilise the quarried materials more effectively either on site or by processing them into new products. Dialogue between the extraction industry and stakeholders started with a workshop organised in March 2022. Responsible organisations: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

4. We will help citizens find circular economy services and improve their appeal.

  • We will promote the incorporation of the circular economy into consumers’ goods and services trade. We will collect information on best practices and develop new tools and recommendations for the policy work. The project will start in September 2022 and continue until May 2023. Responsible organisations: Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
  • We will promote the wider introduction of repair services in cooperation with the Centre for Consumer Society Research of the University of Helsinki and Turku University of Applied Sciences. Responsible organisation: Ministry of the Environment.
  • Together with the Intelligent Transportation Society of Finland – ITS Finland, we will draw up a report and guide for cities on promoting the use of shared electric vehicles. The work started in April 2022 and it will be completed by the autumn. Responsible organisation: Ministry of the Environment.