OECD Environment Policy Papers

Designed for a wide readership, the OECD Environment Policy Papers distil many of today’s environment-related policy issues based on a wide range of OECD work. In the form of country case studies or thematic reviews across countries, the Papers highlight practical implementation experience. They are available in either English or French, with a summary in the other language when possible.


Improving resource efficiency and the circularity of economies for a greener world

Global demand for materials has been growing over the past century, driven by a steady economic growth in OECD countries, the industrialisation of emerging economies and a growing world population. At the global level, materials use more than doubled between 1990 and 2017, and it is projected to double again by 2060. Due to the growing amounts of materials use, environmental pressures such as land degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and the dispersion of toxic substances in the environment are projected to more than double in the decades to come. In this context, improving resource efficiency and stimulating the transition towards a more circular economy has become crucial. In recent years an increasing number of governments have started implementing policies and strategies to meet this objective, but stronger efforts are needed to significantly improve the sustainability of materials management and the circularity of economies across the world.


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