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Standards and the circular economy

Improving waste and resource management is one of the most pressing public policy issues.

Standards play an important part in promoting a circular economy. This is because standards provide one way of bringing together through a supply chain (from producer to consumer) knowledge and expectations of a material. To be reused, recycled and upcycled materials need to meet quality criteria.

There has been very little attention given to how supply chains will utilise standards to ensure the flow of materials. In this project, we critically evaluate how private and public-sector actors are seeking to maintain existing standards for materials, to develop new ones and how this helps us better understand the development of the circular economy.

The project team

Andrew Flynn

Professor Andrew Flynn

Professor in Environmental Policy and Planning


This research was made possible through the support of the following organisations: