On January 8, 2018, the European Commission’s (EC) Joint Research Centre (JRC) published a background report on “Critical raw materials and the circular economy.” JRC’s report served the EC for the preparation for its own report on the topic which is part of the EC’s 2018 Circular Economy Package and was released on January 16, 2018 (FPF reported).

The JRC scientists concluded that “for several economic sectors in the EU, the use of critical raw materials is far from being fully circular.” They identified the need for “policy actions at EU level to improve the legislative framework to increase the availability of secondary critical raw materials through improved waste collection and treatment.” Further, the scientists highlighted the importance of continued “research and development as key for making available more innovative, efficient and cost- effective technologies for the extraction of critical raw materials.”

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JRC (January 16, 2018). “Are we circular yet? Focus on critical raw materials in circular economy.


Mathieux, F., et al. (2017). “Critical raw materials and the circular economy – Background report.JRC Science-for-policy report EUR 28832 EN.

EC (January 16, 2018). “Report on critical raw materials in the circular economy.” Parts 1-3.