The key barriers to circular economy can be seen from various stakeholders.
For the consumers, barriers include:
The lack of information: innovative products and services based on circular model are only partly known by consumers since those businesses are relatively new and small compared to traditional big corporations. Whereas, the majority of consumers have insufficient knowledge of how to get started
Difficulty in changing consumption behaviour: instead of owning something, renting products or services, or buying something recycled from wastes sometimes can be a huge challenge for consumers. Besides, it is not a top choice for many people to have the same cell-phone for more than five years, and they always want to buy new ones instead of sticking to an old one. And therefore, it is really hard for them to change consumption behaviours unless they are very conscious about their impacts on resources and society.
Trust: in the sharing economy, people need to trust each other more. For instance, on the rental platform of private stuff and tools (e.g. Pumpipumpe), the person who rents his or her beamer or bike has to trust the person who uses them. This is also a main barrier for consumers to directly jump into the sharing economy.
For the companies, barriers include:
The lack of awareness: companies might not be fully aware of long-term profits brought by circular economy model. Without a comprehensive understanding of resource efficiency and cost-benefit calculation, companies would not easily spend money and energy on new technologies which help shift their business model from linear raw material-production-waste deposit to a circular one.
Financial barrier: especially for start-ups and SMEs which are dedicated to the circular business model, they need at initial stage financial support to test their ideas and to obtain a position on the market.
Cooperation of other stakeholders along the value chain: the company which sells end product or provide services should also corporate with the whole supply chain so that the whole supply chain is flexible enough to guarantee that products are designed for modularity, remanufacture and repair for instance.
For policy-makers, barriers include:
New regulations and laws have to be made: for people who share their car or house or other private stuff on the sharing platform for instance, new regulations have to be made concerning taxation, personal security, insurance and so on so that both sides can be protected. But this requires extra time and efforts for the government.
Leadership in general: the government needs to take the leadership in creating the environment for circular economy by providing subsidies, financial support and political frameworks.
Some of the barriers concern the innovative mode and integrations with the new companies.
It may happen that splitting the integration step will occur only in part of the integration segment, or it will not be at all. By comparing the results of calculations with and we do not get information about the magnitude of the error of integration in the area where the split step did not occur.