Useful publications

Please see below some useful reference documents on reuse, recycling and the social economy. Use the buttons to navigate to the relevant sections.

European Circular Economy Package

Revised EU Waste Framework Directive 2018/851

Legislation, Europe, Reuse

The overarching piece of legislation covering all waste management in the EU with new measures including obligations to measure and eventually set targets for all types of reuse. Published 2018.

Closing the Loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy

Circular Economy, European Commission

The European Commission’s Communication document outlining its action plan to support the transition towards a circular economy. Published 2015.

Circular economy in Europe developing the knowledge base

Circular, Reuse, EEA

The first EEA report in a series on the Circular Economy, describing the overall concept. It draws attention to the benefits and challenges in transitioning to a circular economy and highlights ways to measure progress.

Circular by Design_Products in the Circular Economy

Circular, Reuse, EEA

This second EEA report in the series highlights mechanisms for circularity, production ‑ consumption trends, systemic drivers of product design and use, and their implications for the governance of the transition to a circular economy

Irish Policy

National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022

Social Enterprise, Policy,, National

The Minister for Community and Rural Development, Michael Ring T.D., launched the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 on 18 July 2019 (view Minster Ring’s keynote address here). There have been calls for such a policy for many years and its publication represents a key milestone for social enterprises in Ireland. Published 2019.

Climate Action Plan 2019

Climate, Policy, National

The Government’s Climate Action Plan is committed to net zero carbon energy systems by 2050 for Irish society and in the process, creating a resilient, vibrant and sustainable country. Chapter 12 covers actions to be taken in the area of Waste and the Circular Economy.

Climate Action Plan 2019 Infographic

Climate, Policy, National

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Brunton T.D., held Climate Action Forums in communities around the country. This Infographic was provided to attendees as a summary of the 183 actions outlined in full Climate Action Plan 2019.

Climate Action Plan 2019 First Progress Report

Climate, Policy, National

The Government released its first quarterly progress report on the Climate Action Plan 2019 and states that 85%, or 149, of the actions due for delivery in Quarter 2 and 3 of 2019 have been delivered, with the remaining in progress and due for delivery by the end of the year. The Climate Action Delivery Board will continue to monitor progress.

Climate Change Advisory Council Annual Review 2019

Climate, Policy, National

The Climate Change Advisory Council is an independent advisory body tasked with reviewing national climate policy, progress on the achievement of the national transition objective and progress towards international targets. This is the Climate Change Advisory Council’s third Annual Review of progress towards transition. Published 2019.

Towards a Resource Efficient Ireland: A National Strategy to 2020

EPA, Reuse, National

Ireland’s National Strategy for Resource Efficiency, incorporating the National Waste Prevention Programme. Published 2014.

Towards a Resource Efficient Ireland (Annual Report 2017)

EPA, Reuse, National

This report provides an overview of progress made on waste prevention projects during 2017. Published 2018.

A Resource Opportunity: Waste management Policy in Ireland

Policy, Ireland, Reuse

Ireland’s roadmap on moving away from an over dependence on landfill, by reducing waste and maximising the resources that we can recover from waste. Published 2012.

Ireland's Regional Plans

Circular Economy, Job Creation

Ireland’s three regional plans are statutory documents required under the Waste Framework Directive, that set out the strategy, policies and actions for the prevention and management of wastes in a safe and sustainable manner. Published 2015.

Annual Report

Ireland, Reuse

Progress report from Eastern Midlands Waste Region on the implementation of their Regional Plan.

Moving Towards the Circular Economy in Ireland

Ireland, Reuse

A study for the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) by Dr Simon O’Rafferty

Northern Ireland Policy

Delivering Resource Efficiency: Northern Ireland Waste Mgmt Strategy

DAERA, Reuse, National

Northern Ireland’s Strategy for Resource Efficiency, aiming to move the emphasis from resource management to resource efficiency.

The Road to Zero Waste - Waste Prevention Programme for Northern Ireland

DAERA, Prevention, National

This programme is designed to have a favourable impact on the Northern Ireland economy, helping to promote and support ‘green jobs’, and for the protection of the environment and conservation of resources

Green & Social Procurement

Circular 20/2019: Promoting the use of Environmental and Social Considerations in Public Procurement

Procurement, Green, Social, Ireland

The purpose of this Circular is to promote the wider use of environmental and social considerations in public procurement with specific regard to the Climate Action Plan 2019

Public Procurement for a Circular Economy: Good practice and guidance

Procurement, Circular Economy, European Commission

This brochure provides guidance on circular procurement, where public authorities purchase works, goods or services that contribute to closed energy and material loops within supply chains.

Green Procurement: Guide for the Public Sector

Procurement, Resource efficiency

The EPA’s guidance document to assist the public sector to implement and maintain procedures for green public procurement, including consideration of reuse elements. Published 2014.

GPP4Growth Policy Briefings

Procurement, Resource efficiency

The Department of Environment (DCCAE) has published as part of an Interreg Project, a series of policy papers to exchange experiences & practices and improve on resource efficiency through Green Public Procurement (GPP).

EU Green Public Procurement criteria for Furniture

Procurement, Furniture, European Commission

These voluntary EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria aim to facilitate public authorities in the purchase of products, services and works relating to furniture including refurbishment, new furniture and the end-of-life services.

Circular Economy, Social Enterprise, Job Creation, Training, Volunteering

Social Enterprises and their Ecosystems in Europe

Social Enterprise, Europe

To boost social enterprise, 16 EU countries have adopted new legislation during the past decade and 11 countries have created explicit policies to support its development, according to a new synthesis report ‘Social enterprises and their ecosystems in Europe.’ Published 2020.

Job Creation in the Circular Economy - Increasing Resource Efficiency in Northern Ireland

Circular Economy, Job Creation

Prepared by WRAP and the Green Alliance, this shows the potential of the circular economy to deliver employment opportunities across a range of skills to the Northern Ireland economy. Published 2015.

The Impact of Volunteering on the Health and Well-Being of the Volunteer


In 2017, Volunteer Ireland conducted research into the impact volunteering has on the health and well-being of volunteers. Combining focus groups with the results of a national survey of volunteers, the report concluded that volunteering has a positive impact on volunteers in a multitude of ways. (source: Volunteer Ireland website)

Other Reports & Strategies on the Circular Economy

The Circularity Gap Report 2020

Circular Economy, Reuse, Design, Raw Materials, Resource Extraction

The report examines and extrapolates common challenges and opportunities experienced by distinct country groups and provides action pathways for each. Our world is now only 8.6% circular. The global economy is consuming 100 billion tonnes of materials a year for the first time ever, but the cycling rate of resources has gone into reverse. Circle Economy. Published 2020

The Circularity Gap Report 2019

Circular Economy, Reuse, Design, Raw Materials, Resource Extraction

The report positions the circular economy as a tool for the much needed paradigm shift as our world is only 9% circular and there is an upward trend in resource extraction and greenhouse gas emissions. It offers the prospect of a global economy which is regenerative and abundant. Circle Economy. Published 2019

The Circular Economy - A Powerful Force for Climate Mitigation

Circular Economy, Reuse, Climate

This report takes a first step towards quantifying the potential for circular economy opportunities to reduce GHG emissions, examining materials flows and value chains, identifying relevant approaches and their cost-effectiveness. It also considers barriers and policies that could overcome them.

Making things Last: A Circular Economy Strategy for Scotland

Circular Economy, Reuse, Scotland

Scotland’s first Circular Economy strategy demonstrating ambition and leadership in the area of reuse. Published 2016.

Our Waste, Our Resources: Strategy for England

Circular Economy, Reuse, England

This strategy sets out how England will preserve its stock of material resources by minimising waste, promoting resource efficiency and moving towards a circular economy. 

Municipality-led circular economy case studies

Circular Economy, Reuse, Procurement, Civic Waste

Case studies showing how municipalities around the world are transitioning to low-carbon economies and are enabling greater energy and material efficiency, lower pollution and GHG emissions and job creation. C40 & Climate-KIC. Published 2018

A New Textiles Economy: Redressing Fashion's Future

Textiles, Reuse, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Circular Economy

This report outlines a vision for a new textiles economy where clothes, textiles, and fibres are kept at their highest value during use and re-enter the economy afterwards, never ending up as waste.

Preparation for re-use: a roadmap for a paradigm shift in Wales

Preparation for reuse, targets

This report shows potential impacts of the ambitious Welsh plan to drive preparation for reuse through setting targets, supporting third sector and promoting a reuse standard.

Fixing Fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability

Textiles, Reuse, Social

This report describes the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry and examines new economic models that could help improve the sustainability of the fashion industry.

Style Guide: Exploring Fashion and Sustainability

Textiles, Reuse, Social

This guide, produced by the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainability, was provided to attendees of the 2020 BAFTA Awards. Guests were asked to incorporate sustainability into their fashion selection, such as re-wearing, renting or buying vintage.

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