Breaking Circular Economy Barriers

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
barriers, Circular economy, markets, miljö, Miljöekonomi, recycling, sustainability


Despite high estimated gains of a circular economy implementation, progress on the macro, meso and micro level is sluggish. The purpose of this paper is to examine, from a theoretical economics perspective, how four barriers – technological, market, institutional and cultural – can prevent the implementation of a circular economy. The barriers that currently hinder a circular economy from developing are identified and a mapping of these barriers is performed to understand how they are interdependent and entangled. The conclusion is that even small barriers could stop the emergence of a circular economy. Even though a circular economy is different from our traditional “linear” economy, the theoretical analysis in this paper gives no reason to believe that a circular economy will not follow the same rules as a traditional economy. There will be property rights, rule of law and price signals guiding the economy. If some of the essential parts of a market are lacking, a weaker circular economy than otherwise possible will materialize.

Grafström, J. & Aasma, S. (2021). Breaking Circular Economy Barriers. Journal of Cleaner Production, 292.

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Mer för mindre? Tillväxt och hållbarhet i Sverige
Grafström, J. & Sandström, C.
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Går det att förena ekonomisk tillväxt med hållbar
utveckling? Den här boken beskriver hur miljöskadliga utsläpp och användningen av naturresurser i
Sverige har förändrats över tid.
Sedan 1990 har Sveriges befolkning ökat med drygt
1,6 miljoner och ekonomin nästan fördubblats. Samtidigt har koldioxidutsläppen minskat med 27 procent mellan åren 1990 och 2018, konsumtionen av
el, vatten och energi har stått still vilket innebär att
ekonomin är nästan dubbelt så effektiv. Av de 26
luftföroreningar Naturvårdsverket mätt sedan 1990
har 24 gått ner fram till 2017. I många fall har det
skett mer än en halvering.

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