Several drivers favor the implementation of circular economy mechanisms:
- Attracting new activities. New added value activities related to the circular economy can be located within a port complex, which supports a mission statement related to generating economic activities and their benefits for a regional economy.
- New technologies. Technological advances allow for new opportunities related to the circular economy, including digital technologies tracking assets for reuse and recycling; production technologies allowing for better designs and processes; energy technologies allowing the switch to alternative sources.
- Incentive mechanisms. Public actors offer incentives such as subsidies and tax abatements if circular economy practices are implemented in specific sectors.
- Compliance. Rules and regulations concerning carbon emissions, energy mixes, or recycling can comply ports to undertake circular economy initiatives.
Still, barriers can prevent or hinder the implementation of circular economy mechanisms:
- Organizational structure. There could be an unwillingness or a lack of leadership. On occasion, a port authority may not perceive circular strategies to be an element of its mission statement or jurisdiction.
- Stakeholders. Port customers and users may not be in sectors that could derive opportunities from the circular economy, including the generation of higher costs undermining their competitiveness.
- Capital requirements. Circular economy initiatives can be capital-intensive and have a lack of demonstrated economic benefits.
- Infrastructure. Port and ancillary infrastructure need to be present to support circular projects. In particular, low or no-emission electricity generation capabilities are required, as well as infrastructure for the collection and storage of recycling materials.