Report assesses state of transition to circular economy in Europe


On March 21, 2024, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a report titled “Accelerating the circular economy in Europe: State and outlook 2024.” The report aims to analyze how recent policies in the European Union support the transition toward a circular economy and offers options and prospects to further promote this transition in the future.  

The report identifies several areas where efforts to develop a circular economy need to be made to alleviate environmental pressure and address the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution – many are relevant to food packaging:  

  • Europe continues to revolve around mass-producing products which often results in low product lifetimes. 
  • Recycling rates are stagnating, and the current recycling system appears to be insufficient in reaching 2030 waste reduction targets (FPF reported).  
  • Consumption levels in the EU continue to increase. The authors emphasize a need for “fundamental changes to consumption behavior,” including shifting from single-use products to reusable alternatives.