Next Article in Journal
Water and Carbon Footprint of Wine: Methodology Review and Application to a Case Study
Next Article in Special Issue
The Role of Paradigm Analysis in the Development of Policies for a Resource Efficient Economy
Previous Article in Journal
Competitiveness of Small Farms and Innovative Food Supply Chains: The Role of Food Hubs in Creating Sustainable Regional and Local Food Systems
Previous Article in Special Issue
Policy Mixes to Achieve Absolute Decoupling: An Ex Ante Assessment
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 622;

From Waste Management to Resource Efficiency—The Need for Policy Mixes

Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Doeppersberg 19, Wuppertal D-42109, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Francesca Montevecchi, Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers, Tomas Ekvall, Martha Bicket and Patrick ten Brink
Received: 2 February 2016 / Revised: 15 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 1 July 2016
PDF [2210 KB, uploaded 1 July 2016]


Treating waste as a resource and the design of a circular economy have been identified as key approaches for resource efficiency. Despite ambitious targets, policies and instruments that would enable a transition from a conventional waste management to an integrated and comprehensive resource management are still missing. Moreover, this will require innovative policy mixes which do not only address different end-of-pipe approaches but integrate various resource efficiency aspects from product design to patterns of production and consumption. Based on the results of a project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development named “POLFREE—Policy Options for a resource efficient economy”, this paper addresses several aspects of the conceptualization of policy mixes with regard to waste as a specific resource efficiency challenge. The guiding research interest of this paper is the combination of policies necessary to create a full circular economy. In a first step, the present waste policy frameworks, institutions and existing incentives at national level are examined in order to disclose regulatory and policy gaps. Based on this, the second part of the paper describes and analyses specific waste-related resource efficiency instruments with regard to their potential impacts under the constraints of various barriers. Based on the assessment of the country analyses and the innovative instruments, the paper draws conclusions on waste policy mixes and political needs. View Full-Text
Keywords: circular economy; waste policy; resource efficiency; policy mixes circular economy; waste policy; resource efficiency; policy mixes

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Wilts, H.; Von Gries, N.; Bahn-Walkowiak, B. From Waste Management to Resource Efficiency—The Need for Policy Mixes. Sustainability 2016, 8, 622.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top