The article analyzes the paradigm of the circular economy, highlighting how the relationship between environment and market has progressively changed. Moving from the example of waste, the author highlights the switch from a waste-based vision to an opposite one, based on the prevention principle, that emphasizes the value of resources during all the lifecycle of products. Market based instruments are crucial. More in particular, the extended producer responsibility emerges as an environment protection strategy during all the products lifecycle. It is argued that the new paradigm seem to follow the theory of commons, based on the overcome of the property, looking at resources in a eco-friendly key. Final considerations concern the role both of public power and private actors in the new paradigm of circular economy.
Keywords: Circular economy, environment, market based instruments, extended producer responsibility, commons.