People and Environment

Standardization of the Circular Economy

The circular economy is a hot topic already for the past years, and while different industries are interested in working towards it, many of its principles get lost in translation, unfortunately putting at risk the acceptance, development, and actual implementation of the CE. Standards help address this issue. As ISO describes: “standards are a formula that describes the best way of doing something”, and they rely on the expertise of people in the subject matter.

In 2018, ISO founded a technical committee for Circular Economy ISO/TC 323, and the aim is to develop standards in terms of requirements, frameworks as well as guidelines or tools to support every kind of project and implementation of Circular Economy in all organizations involved, to maximize the contribution to Sustainable Development.

How can the plastics industry benefit from acquiring a CE standard?

While many companies and organizations are currently making pledges about developing strategies and initiatives for a circular economy, many fall short or use circular economy (the same as sustainability) as a marketing mimic that does not work by the principles of the same. Obtaining a CE standard certificate allows those companies that are implementing circular economy strategies to be recognized by the public and other institutions.

While in the past, standards were driven by market demands, now they are influenced by emerging policies. A globally accepted definition of “Circular Economy” and standards to measure performance will likely lead to further policy revisions and ISO Standards such as TC 323 for a Circular Economy may affect product design in the future. Planning to obtain this certification will definitely benefit their own operations and will contribute to accelerating the transition towards a circular economy.




Source: ISO Data


Estefania López

Program-Directress Circular Polymers