We like circular



According to WRAP UK (Waste and Resource Action Programme),  a “circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.”

Circular economy
These two youtube videos present the concept in a really neat way. In the second video, Prof. Peter Hopkins from Bradford University which is one of the centres of excellence in circular business matters offers more fine details and innovative examples in the first half of the webinar.



According to a paper released in 2013 by the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders,

” The sharing economy is complementary to the circular economy. The circular economy refers to an industrial economy that is, by design or intention, restorative and which focuses on cradle-to-cradle principles and materials sustainability. Resources are used to enable high-quality design without contaminating the biosphere. Both the sharing economy and the circular economy focus on efficient and sustainable resource use by individuals, companies, and governments.”
The wikipedia page on the sharing / collaborative economy states that the “sharing economy (also known as shareconomy or collaborative consumption) refers to peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services (coordinated through community-based online services). Sharing economy can take a variety of forms, including using information technology to provide individuals, corporations, non-profits and governments with information that enables the optimization of resources through the redistribution, sharing and reuse of excess capacity in goods and services. A common premise is that when information about goods is shared (typically via an online marketplace), the value of those goods may increase for the business, for individuals, for the community and for society in general.
Here’s nice TEDx video by an “environmentalist, entrepreneur and a little bit of a dreamer” on the collaborative economy, touching on community businesses such as co-operatives:




The strongest global thought leader in the field, the mission of the network is “to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was established in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to the circular economy. Since its creation the charity has emerged as a global thought leader, establishing circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government and academia. The charity’s work focuses on four interlinking areas: Education, Business and government, Insight and Analysis, and Communications.”



On 2 December 2015, “the European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package, which includes revised legislative proposals on waste to stimulate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.

The Circular Economy Package consists of an EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy that establishes a concrete and ambitious programme of action, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials. The proposed actions will contribute to “closing the loop” of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, and bring benefits for both the environment and the economy.”

More details on the EU Commission pages.



The list is growing, but here are a few big UK names in the list of players facilitating the transition to a more circular economy.





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Page last updated: Jan 2016