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Towards the Circular Economy: Waste Contracting

Henning Wilts and Alexandra Palzkill

The transition towards a circular economy is high on the political agenda and support for innovative business models can be seen as one of the key strategies for its implementation. Nevertheless most of these business models rely on an increasing generation of waste and thus undermine the prevention of waste as top of the waste hierarchy. The paper aims to link this debate to more systemic  eco-innovations that offer economic market potentials by reduced material inputs and waste generation. This directs the attention to sufficiency strategies that surpass the level of individual consumer choices and regards the potentials of entrepreneurial sufficiency strategies. It takes the example of waste contracting modelsin Germany as a possible approach of resource-light business models that provide existing utility aspects with altered consumption patterns and decreased resource consumption. It describes environmental and economic benefits and draws conclusions on necessary policy framework conditions.