Circular economy can create 3 million jobs – WRAP

A European transition to the circular economy could create three million extra jobs by 2030 and reduce unemployment by 520,000, a new WRAP study has claimed.

The report, Economic Growth Potential of More Circular Economies builds on previous WRAP studies of the employment potential of closing the loop and extrapolates the findings across all 28 EU member states.

The report found that there are already 3.4 million people employed in circular economy jobs such as repair, waste & recycling and rental & leasing sectors across the European Union. On the current development path, the circular economy is expected to create an extra 1.2 million jobs; and reduce structural unemployment by around 250,000.

However WRAP claims both of these figures could be more than doubled by an ambitious development plan.

In the charity’s own response to the EU’s public consultation on the circular economy, WRAP called for a specific food waste policy, greater encouragement of resource efficient business models, and the creation of a ‘target vision’ of what the ideal EU circular economy would look like.

Missing piece

WRAP CEO Liz Goodwin said: “Providing the bigger picture for the jobs potential from the circular economy for each individual Member State makes the case for the EU to adopt an ‘ambitious’ circular economy package even stronger.

“This added layer of detail is the missing piece of the jigsaw that shows how the circular economy supports the themes of the Commission’s wider plan for job creation and growth. It’s clear that many countries could see considerable benefits which could improve the jobs market, the economy, as well as the environment.” 

WRAP’s UK-focused jobs report found that a circular economy could create more than 200,000 domestic jobs by 2030.

Another recent report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation claimed that a pan-European transition to a circular economy would generate around €1.8trn of benefit for European economies every year.

The EU’s consultation on what its forthcoming circular economy package should look like, closed last month, and and an announcement is expected before the end of the year.

Brad Allen

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