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Reform Support

Supporting reforms to transition to a green economy and fight climate change

Funding Programme
Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP)

Circular Economy: Closing the loop – From waste to resource

The Commission supports the Government of Portugal in taking well-informed decisions towards achieving socio-economic and environmental benefits from increasing the utilisation of secondary raw materials. The project highlights the importance of efficient resource use including the incorporation of waste into the economy and aims to strengthen the implementation of the EU circular economy package in Portugal. 


Transitioning to a Circular Economy is a demanding task. An important aspect is to keep resources already used in an active loop for as long as possible. Increasing the uptake of secondary raw materials in an industrial framework is a complex matter involving economic, technical, and institutional factors. A thorough data analysis coupled with stakeholder involvement has allowed for informed and efficient policy decisions on turning waste into resources. Moreover, active engagement with companies of different sectors has been essential in complementing the statistical analysis with pragmatic analyses of factors impeding and enabling the use of secondary raw materials. 

Support delivered

Under this project, the following support was delivered:  

  1. Identification of the most relevant industrial sectors in Portugal in terms of unexploited secondary raw materials
  2. Identification of best EU practices to bring secondary raw materials back into active loops
  3. Taking into account the needs and wishes of Portuguese stakeholders in four key sectors regarding the increased utilisation of secondary raw materials
  4. Drafting national strategies outlining how the environmental authorities in Portugal can support increased utilisation of secondary raw materials in the country. 

Results achieved

Preparation of each of the sector strategies for the increased utilisation of secondary raw materials followed the procedure outlined below:

  • The formulation of a circular economy vision
  • Structured analysis of the many inputs compiled through statistical analyses, literature reviews, and stakeholder consultations
  • Systematic analysis of each of the barriers and hindrances; identifying key objectives, key outputs and assumptions; discussion of strategy consequences
  • Discussion of means of implementation, measures, instruments; preparation of strategy model
  • Involving stakeholders and preparing final draft strategy.