The Circular Economy

We live in a world where we take materials produced by the earth and make things that we may only use once before throwing them away. This ‘take, make, use and dispose' system is known as the linear economy. Our focus now is to move from a linear to a circular economy.

Take action on the circular economy

The National Waste Prevention Programme

Ireland’s National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP) was established in 2004 and is led by the EPA. Its mission is to prevent waste and drive the circular economy. The NWPP focuses on national level strategic programmes with high visibility and influence to change behaviours, support sustainable choices and inform policy.

What's happening in the circular economy?

Circular Economy Infographic

The Circular Economy graphic is showing the different stages of the circular economy.

Circular Economy goes beyond the management of waste and focusses on reducing the amount of raw materials we use and capturing and maximising the value of materials and resources all along the production and consumption chain. Waste is recycled where possible and brought back into production processes or used to create energy in preference to disposal to landfill.

In Ireland, our current waste policy is A Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy. The government’s Circular Economy Strategy for Ireland is currently out for public consultation. The National Waste Prevention Programme is also being reconfigured into a Circular Economy Programme. At EU level, the European Green Deal includes a Circular Economy Action Plan, with a focus on sustainability and turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities.


What's being done?

NWPP Pillars

Innovating and Demonstrating

We have targeted funding programmes to support the development of novel solutions for the circular economy.

We share learnings and showcase best-practice for enterprises and organisations in moving to the circular Economy.

Delivering through Partnerships

We collaborate with influential national organisations to deliver programmes and solutions for the circular economy in Ireland. Working with and through others we extend our reach and influence.

Advocacy and Communication

We are an advocate for waste prevention and the circular economy in Ireland, including working with the public on priority topics such as food waste and plastics.

We communicate solutions based on behavioural insights that can be scaled up for the greatest impact. We gather data and evidence to inform robust policy development and report on progress.




View our six key priority areas to learn more about:


Food waste

Construction and demolition


Local waste prevention

Resources and raw materials


Featured reports on Resources

in: circular economy
NWPP Annual Report 2020 cover
National Waste Prevention Programme annual report, 2020

Preventing Waste, Driving the Circular Economy

Overview of progress made on waste prevention projects during 2020

Watch our videos on the circular economy

Download infographics and factsheets on circular economy