Digitalisation a boon for circular economy, but could backfire

Increased use of digital platforms, smart devices, AI, the Internet of Things and blockchain could all help Europe move to a circular economy, but also present environmental risks, a think-tank warns

Increased use of digital platforms, smart devices, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and blockchain all have the potential to help Europe's towards a more circular economic model, but could have the opposite effect if managed badly, a prominent Brussels think-tank has warned.

“There is a risk that if it is not guided well, it will result in unwanted rebound effects, such as an overdrive of a linear ‘take-make-dispose’ economy, and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions,” the European Policy Centre (EPC) said in a discussion paper published on Friday.

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