Published December 28, 2022 | Version Published
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Demand-Pull Instruments to Support the Circular Economy: A Global Perspective

  • 1. Law School, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland Brussels School of Governance, Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, Belgium Email:


In recent years, transitioning to a more circular economy has been introduced as a policy objective in many jurisdictions across the globe with a view to achieving a sustainable society. However, the increasing attention paid to this issue has so far not led to a large-scale transformation of production processes and consumption. Instead, many circular economy innovations have remained niche and have not become the mainstream solutions. A plethora of regulatory, market, cultural and technological barriers limit the demand for, and consequently wide-scale adoption of, circular solutions. This article examines the potential offered by regulatory demand-pull instruments to overcome such barriers and to mainstream circular economy solutions. In particular, the article investigates innovative demand-pull instruments that have been used in various jurisdictions globally. This article analyses the instruments according to their types – i.e., command-and-control measures, economic incentives, information tools and public procurement – to gain a better understanding of the rationales, strengths, and limitations of these categories of instruments in creating a stable demand for the circular economy. The lessons learned from the regulatory innovations enable a more critical approach in determining the best combination of instruments and tools to implement sustainable circular solutions on a larger scale.



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