EU Circular Economy Action Plan 2024: an overview

In 2024, the European Union continues to lead the global push towards sustainability with its ambitious EU Circular Economy Action Plan. This plan is a crucial part of the European Green Deal, aiming to foster sustainable growth and reduce the environmental footprint of economic activities. The Circular Economy Action Plan’s influence extends across various sectors, driving innovation and encouraging the adoption of circular practices that prioritize resource efficiency and waste reduction. This article delves into how the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan is shaping sustainable practices in 2024, highlighting key initiatives, impacts on industries, and the broader implications for the global community.

The EU Circular Economy Action Plan, initially introduced in March 2020, sets out a comprehensive framework for a circular economy. By 2024, several initiatives under the Circular Economy Action Plan have gained momentum, focusing on product lifecycle, waste management, and resource efficiency.

Sustainable Product Policy Framework

The EU’s Sustainable Product Policy Framework aims to make products more durable, reusable, repairable, and recyclable. Key measures include:

Eco-design Requirements: Mandating eco-design principles to ensure products are resource-efficient and environmentally friendly throughout their lifecycle.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): Holding producers accountable for the entire lifecycle of their products, incentivizing them to create more sustainable designs.

Digital Product Passports: Introducing digital passports for products to provide consumers with detailed information about their environmental impact, helping them make informed choices.

Circular Business Models and Innovation

The EU Circular Economy Action Plan 2024 encourages the adoption of circular business models and supports innovation in key sectors:

Circular Electronics Initiative: Promoting the longevity and reparability of electronic devices, reducing e-waste through enhanced design and recycling measures.

New Textiles Strategy: Aiming to transform the textiles industry by fostering sustainable production, reducing waste, and promoting circularity in fashion.

Sustainable Construction: Encouraging the use of sustainable materials and circular principles in the construction industry to minimize waste and enhance resource efficiency.

Waste Reduction and Management

Effective waste management is a cornerstone of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan 2024:

Revised Waste Framework Directive: Strengthening waste prevention and recycling targets to reduce landfill use and promote resource recovery.

Plastics Strategy: Tackling plastic waste through measures such as reducing single-use plastics, improving recycling rates, and encouraging the use of biodegradable materials.

Food Waste Reduction: Implementing strategies to halve food waste by 2030, promoting sustainable consumption, and enhancing food redistribution practices.

Impact on Key Industries

The EU Circular Economy Action Plan 2024 initiatives are driving significant changes across various industries, reshaping business practices and promoting sustainability.

Manufacturing: Manufacturers are increasingly adopting circular principles to reduce resource consumption and waste. Eco-design requirements and EPR schemes are prompting companies to innovate, leading to the creation of products that are easier to repair, recycle, and reuse. This shift not only minimizes environmental impact but also opens up new business opportunities in the repair and recycling sectors.

Electronics: The Circular Electronics Initiative is revolutionizing the electronics industry. Companies are now focusing on designing devices with longer lifespans and improved reparability. Initiatives like the Right to Repair are gaining traction, empowering consumers to repair their gadgets instead of discarding them. This approach reduces electronic waste and conserves valuable resources.

Textiles and Fashion: The textiles industry is undergoing a significant transformation. The New Textiles Strategy encourages the use of sustainable materials, promotes recycling, and supports circular fashion initiatives. Brands are increasingly adopting practices like clothing rental, resale, and recycling programs, reducing the environmental impact of fast fashion.

Construction: Sustainable construction practices are becoming the norm, driven by the EU Circular Economy Action Plan 2024 focus on resource efficiency. The use of recycled materials, modular construction techniques, and circular design principles are reducing waste and enhancing the sustainability of buildings. This shift is not only environmentally beneficial but also economically advantageous, as it reduces construction costs and creates new business opportunities.

Broader Implications for the Global Community

The EU Circular Economy Action Plan is setting a benchmark for sustainability worldwide. Its influence extends beyond Europe, inspiring other regions to adopt similar measures and collaborate on global sustainability goals.

Global Supply Chains: The EU Circular Economy Action Plan 2024 emphasis on sustainable practices is transforming global supply chains. Companies are increasingly adopting circular principles, such as reducing waste and improving resource efficiency, to meet regulatory requirements and consumer expectations. This shift is fostering more resilient and sustainable supply chains, reducing environmental impact, and promoting social responsibility.

International Collaboration: The EU is actively engaging with international partners to promote circular economy practices. Collaborative efforts, such as the Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE), are facilitating knowledge exchange, sharing best practices, and supporting the global transition towards a circular economy. These initiatives are crucial in addressing global environmental challenges and achieving sustainable development goals.

Consumer Awareness and Behavior: The EU Circular Economy Action Plan 2024 is also influencing consumer behavior, raising awareness about the importance of sustainability and circular practices. Digital product passports and eco-labels are empowering consumers to make informed choices, driving demand for sustainable products. As consumer preferences shift towards sustainability, businesses are compelled to adopt circular practices to stay competitive in the market.


In 2024, the EU Circular Economy Action Plan is playing a pivotal role in shaping sustainable practices across various sectors. Through its comprehensive framework, the Circular Economy Action Plan 2024 is driving innovation, promoting resource efficiency, and reducing waste. The impact of these initiatives extends beyond Europe, influencing global supply chains, fostering international collaboration, and raising consumer awareness. As the world continues to grapple with environmental challenges, the EU’s commitment to a circular economy sets a powerful example for achieving a sustainable future.

Do you want to find out more information on circular economy and its themes? Visit Tondo’s blog! And if you are interested into finding a community of companies and organizations that focus on circular economy and share experiences, knowledges and much more, join our communities of companies!

Emma Salioni

WIth a degree in Digital content management for media, enterprises and cultural heritage, Emma Salioni has always had a strong interest in sustainability and circularity. After a period of time spent workin in The Netherlands, she started working with Tondo managing social media and communication, as well as supporting the organization of hackathons and events.