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 Circular Economy Programme

Ireland’s Circular Economy Programme (2021 to 2027) is the driving force for Ireland's move to a circular economy. The vision for the Programme, which is led by the EPA, is an Ireland where the circular economy ensures that everyone uses less resources and prevents waste to achieve sustainable economic growth. This Programme incorporates and builds upon the previous National Waste Prevention Programme. The Circular Economy Programme will work with others to deliver programmes. The Programme will provide leadership to ensure alignment of national, regional and local circular economy activities. It will maintain a competitive programme of innovation grants and seed-funding to support circular economy initiatives. The programme will implement actions that build knowledge and evidence to inform circular economy development in Ireland. It will realise the enterprise opportunity of a circular economy by supporting new business models and promoting resource efficiency.

What's happening in the circular economy?

Circular Economy Infographic

The Circular Economy goes beyond the management of waste.  The focus is on reducing the amount of raw materials we use and maximising the value of materials along the production and consumption chain. Waste is recycled where possible and brought back into production processes.  Otherwise it is used to create energy instead of disposal to landfill.  The Circular Economy graphic shows the different stages of the circular economy.

In Ireland, our current waste policy is A Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy. The Government’s Circular Economy Strategy and the EPA’s Circular Economy Programme were published in 2021.  The EPA’s Circular Economy Programme programme has been devised to support the Government’s Circular Economy Strategy and is a reconfiguration of Ireland’s National Waste Prevention 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?

How we work 2021

Advocacy, Insights, Data & Coordination

We communicate solutions for the Circular Economy based on expertise, data and behavioural insights. We gather evidence and publish circular insights to inform robust policy development. We provide advice, assessments and national statistics to support the development and implementation of national policy.

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 support Circular Heroes – enterprises that are delivering circular economy activities.

Innovation & Demonstration

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 other 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

Regulatory Framework for Circularity

Through our regulatory role and experience, we develop responses to circular economy challenges, while ensuring the protection of human health and the environment.


View our seven key priority areas to learn more about:




Food, Water and Nutrients

Construction and Buildings

Electronics and ICT

Batteries and Vehicles

Featured reports on Resources

in: circular economy
The Circular Economy Programme Leaflet Cover
The Circular Economy Programme 2021-2027

The Driving Force for Ireland's Move to a Circular Economy

The Circular Economy Programme vision is for an Ireland where the Circular Economy ensures that everyone uses less resources and prevents waste to achieve sustainable economic growth.

Watch our videos on the circular economy

Download infographics and factsheets on circular economy