CircleUp - Earthwatch


100 households, 100 circular stories: inspiring sustainable living in Europe

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CircleUp aims to encourage over 100 households to adopt ‘circular-economy’ buying, using and disposing behaviours, to reduce the amount of waste they produce.

The Problem

Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are the root causes of many of the current environmental challenges we face, including pollution and biodiversity loss. We extract, use and dispose of significantly more material than our planet can sustain; around 90% of all material we use goes to waste. In 2019, households in the European Union (EU) generated a total of 218 million tonnes of waste, of which less than 50% was recycled. And the circular economy requires much more than just recycling.

R-strategies – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle – need to be widely implemented to ensure that more of the material that we use is kept within the economy i.e. using fewer resources for a longer time.


CircleUp aims to reduce the amount of household waste produced by working closely with over 100 households to design and test different circular-economy actions.


In their role as buyers, users and disposers of products, households are crucial to making the circular-economy work. CircleUp will work closely with households in Oxfordshire (UK), Germany, Latvia, and Norway to facilitate and empower changes in both their behaviour and attitudes. The aim is to reduce waste, particularly of textiles, food, consumer electronics and packaging. Each household will be supported by an innovation package including: digital solutions, individual counselling, a community building tool, and behavioural-science approaches. These solutions will be tested throughout the project ready for uptake by more households at the end of the project.

Our role and how the project relates to our work

Earthwatch is working closely with Oxfordshire County Council to engage households in Oxfordshire and to improve  the implementation of circular economy practises in the U.K. We are also responsible for public engagement and encouraging the uptake of the intervention package across new locations.


  • Riga Technical University (coordinator)
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Hochschule Ruhr West
  • Verbraucherzentrale NRW
  • Prosperkolleg e.V.
  • Naturvernforbundet (Friends of the Earth Norway)
  • Latvian Rural Forum
  • Oxfordshire County Council
  • NOVA School of Science and Technology University
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