Sadly policyfile support is no longer being actively developed by Chef - it’s now a community project. That being said, there was a great Food Fight podcast episode on the topic if you want to know more about the state of policyfiles when the project transitioned back in 2016: http://foodfightshow.org/2016/12/policy-files.html I don’t think policyfiles really helped with environment management beyond reducing the number of files that you needed to maintain.
IMHO environment wrappers, environments, role cookbooks, roles are the way to go. The real purpose of all these things is to virtually group together a set of servers/nodes for an intended purpose. Workflow has great support for environments (and the other variants).
One thing that you may want to consider is using feature flags - that can greatly reduce the number of necessary environments. This may or may not fit in your current workflow, but I would say this is something to consider evolving your workflow to - https://readwrite.com/2016/01/22/staging-servers/ Any language that supports conditional statements supports feature flags, and you can easily use attributes to represent feature toggles/feature flags in your Chef code. Feature flags are another way to virtually group together a set of servers/nodes - and in Chef this can be something attribute-driven.