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8 tons of society - circular economy from theory to practice

What resource and material consumption do we give rise to in Sweden? How far can we reach through a transition to a circular economy, and what could our lifestyles look like with sustainable material consumption?

In Sweden there is an average waste of 480 kg per person and year. However, this amount of material is only a small part of the consumption of resources that our consumption and lifestyle give rise to. If we include housing that needs to be built, goods that are produced, and how we are transported, etc. In today's linear consumer society, each individual within the EU is estimated to have a material footprint of 29 tonnes.

An impact that needs to come down to 8 tonnes to reach a sustainable level. In a circular system, where products are reused and shared, less resources and materials are expected, but do we know how much? How far can we reach through a transition to a circular economy, and what could our lifestyles look like in a sustainable material waste?

The aim of the "8 ton society" is to contribute to behavior change, strengthened action and innovations at national and municipal level. Through increased knowledge and awareness of Swedish citizens' material footprint, measures to reduce this and the importance of and opportunities for reaching a circular economy. Knowledge we gain by mapping, calculating and showing material and waste flows, and how these can be changed through various measures in a more circular economy, we can give decision makers and consumers the right conditions to act for a reduced material footprint.

The project includes a knowledge overview, calculation of material footprints, circular scenarios, workshops on sustainability strategies, and dissemination at national and municipal level. By mapping material and waste flows at the municipal level, municipalities also gain knowledge of, and the opportunity to, show the way for a circular society, for example by supplementing climate strategies and waste plans with circular action plans.

Conferences (LCM 2019) och Publications (2020):


Project name

8 ton society



RISE role in project

Coordinator, praticipant

Project start


Till 2020-04-30

Total budget

1,3 MSEK


The city of Gothenburg, Consumer and citizen service, The city of Malmö, Environmental management, The municipality fo Umeå, City management , VA SYD, Waste Management


Vinnova - Cirkulär och biobaserad ekonomi, från teori till praktik


Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

11. Sustainable cities and communities
12. Responsible consumption and production
Birgit Brunklaus

Contact person

Birgit Brunklaus


Read more about Birgit

Contact Birgit
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