In 2012, the JRC started a study that aims at further supporting its existing activities on techno-environmental modelling and policy support. One of the objectives of the work is to develop a ready-to-use model for quantification of changing environmental-economic impacts related to a change in effective prevention, reuse and recycling of materials. The latter change can originate from better implementation of existing policies at EU and national level, or from newly developed policies.
The outcome of the study, especially the developed model and indicators, will be used in combination with JRC's existing modelling tools and databases to assess the overall impact of effective changes in prevention, reuse and/or recycling with regard to environmental impacts, economic impacts, geostrategic impacts and societal impacts.
On the one hand, the study will focus on classic materials for which a recycling market already exists. On the other hand, the study will pay special attention to important materials that recently started emerging on the market and for which existing waste policies are scarce. For these materials, called "critical", demand has risen substantially in recent years, while supply may be at risk because of environmental, technical or political reasons.