The Baltic Region

2017 Vol. 9 № 3

Back to the list Download an article

The Baltics on Their Way towards a Circular Economy



Circular economy has been studied extensively both in Europe and worldwide. It is largely viewed as a potential strategy for societal development, aimed to increase prosperity while reducing dependence on raw materials and energy. Many businesses regard circular economy as a way to enhance economic growth and increase profits. Governments across the world actively engage in the discussion about the benefits of a transition to a circular economy and about its impact on employment, economic growth, and the environment. This paper aims to study the major issues of circular economy, to identify its advantages, and to offer an insight into the transition stage the Baltic States are undergoing today on their way to circular economy. It is stressed that the Baltic countries are not fully using the opportunities offered by a circular economy. For example, Latvia’s, Lithuania’s, and Estonia’s recycling rates are significantly below those of other European countries. The Baltics depend heavily on EU financial support. An increase in funding will contribute to the implementation of circular economy technologies.


1. Avramenko, A. A., Gorbachev-Fadeev, M. A. 2015, Cyclic economy, Sustainable development and the “green” economy [Ustoichivoe razvitie i «zelenaya» ekonomika], no. 71, p. 23—34. (In Russ.)
2. Mashukova, B. S. 2016, Basic principles of the cyclical economy (economy of a closed cycle), European Science, Vol. 17, no. 7, p. 14—16. (In Russ.)
3. Allwood, J. M. 2014, Squaring the Circular Economy: The Role of Recycling Within a Hierarchy of Material Management Strategies, Waltham.
4. Arthur, W. B. 2011, The Second Economy, McKinsey Quarterly, October, McKinsey & Company, available at: (accessed 22.12.2016).
5. Bradford, J., Fraser E. 2007, Local Authorities, Climate Change and Small and Medium Enterprises: Identifying Effective Policy Instruments to Reduce Energy Use and Carbon Emissions, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, no. 15, available at: (accessed 19.12.2016). DOI: .
6. Davis, C., Arthurs, D. 2006, What Indicators for Science, Technology and Innovation Policies in the 21st Century, Ottawa, available at: (accessed 19.12.2016).
7. Dobbs, R., Oppenheim, J., Thompson, F., Brinkman, M., Zornes, M. 2011, Resource Revolution: Meeting the World’s Energy, Materials, Food, and Water Needs’, available at: (accessed 21.12.2016).
8. Towards the Circular Economy: Accelerating the scale-up across global supply chains, 2014, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey & Company, Geneva.
9. Wales and the Circular Economy. Favourable System Conditions and Economic Opportunities, 2013, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WRAP, Cowes.
10. Towards the Circular Economy. Economic and business rationale for an accelerated transition, 2012, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Cowes.
11. Towards the Circular Economy. Opportunities for the consumer goods sector, 2013, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Cowes.
12. Going for growth, a practical route to circular economy, 2013, Environmental Services Association (ESA), available at: Circular_
Economy_Report_FINAL_High_Res_For_Release.pdf (accessed 19.12.2016). 
13. WRAP, 2011, Increasing SME Recycling (WRAP Project EVA130), available at: (accessed 19.12.2016).
14. European Commission, 2011, Communication from the Commission, Social Business Initiative, Creating a favourable climate for social enterprises, key stakeholders in the social economy and innovation, Brussels, available at: (accessed 19.12.2016).
15. European Commission, 2013, Flash Eurobarometer 381 — SMEs, Resource Efficiency and Green Markets, available at: (accessed 21.12.2016).
16. European Commission, 2013, Roadmap — Review of Waste Policy and Legislation, available at: (accessed 21.12.2016).
17. European Commission, 2014, ANNEX to the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Commission Work Programme 2015 — A New Start, Brussels, available at: (accessed 21.12.2016).
18. European Commission, 2014, Towards a circular economy: A zero waste programme for Europe, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Brussels, available at: (accessed 21.12.2016).
19. European Commission, 2015, Roadmap — Circular Economy Strategy, available at: 21.12.2016).
20. European Environment Agency, 2015, The European environment — state and outlook 2015, synthesis report, available at: (accessed 19.12.2016).
21. Eurostat, 2012, Final consumption expenditure of households by consumption purpose, available at: (accessed 19.12.2016).
22. Hislop, H., Hill, J. 2011, Reinventing the Wheel: A Circular Economy for Resource Security, Green Alliance, available at: (accessed 19.12.2016).
23. Horbach J. 2015, Circular Economy and Employment, available at: (accessed 19.12.2016).
24. Huber, J. 2000, Towards Industrial Ecology: Sustainable Development as a Concept of Ecological Modernization, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, Vol. 2, no. 4, p. 78. DOI:
25. Jackson, C., Watkins, E. 2012, EU waste law: the challenge of better compliance, Directions in European Environmental Policy (IEEP), no. 5, p. 62.
26. Kenneth, B. 1966, The economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth. In Jarrett Henry: Environmental Quality in a growing economy, Johns Hopkins Press, p. 89—100.
27. Lehmann, M., Leeuw, B., Fehr, E., Wong, A. 2014, Circular Economy. Improving the Management of Natural Resources, Bern, p. 56—59.
28. McDonough, W., Braungart, M. 2002, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, New York.
29. Bouton, Sh., Knupfer, S. M., Mihov, I., Swartz, S. 2015, Urban mobility at a tipping point: how to keep cities moving, McKinsey, available at: (accessed 19.12.2016).
30. Meadows, D. H., Randers, J., Meadows, D. L. 2004, The Limits to Growth. The 30-year Update, London, p. 44—46.
31. Preston, F. 2012, A Global Redesign, Shaping the Circular Economy, London, p. 160.
32. Sachs, J. 2015, The Age of Sustainable Development, Columbia University Press, р. 145.
33. Sauvé, S., Bernard, S., Sloan, P. 2016, Environmental sciences, sustainable development and circular economy: Alternative concepts for trans-disciplinary research, Environmental Development, Vol. 17, p. 48—56. DOI:
34. Wells, P., Seitz, M. 2005, Business models and closed-loop supply chains: a typology, Supply Chain Management, Vol. 10, no. 4, p. 249—251.