Circular Economy

Circular Economy

The notion of a Circular Economy

The notion of a circular economy is not new. The fundamental flaw of an economic system that relies on a linear approach to production and consumption, in which we use precious resources in a way that leads to products simply being disposed of and wasted, has been recognised for many years.

Today, however, there are renewed and determined efforts globally to turn the circular economy into reality. The waste and resource industry can help to deliver a true circular economy in the UK in which materials and energy can be returned into other productive parts of the economy. Waste should truly be seen as a resource.

As an important part of the UK’s waste and resource industry, FCC Environment is a leading voice in this transition. You can read the report about our activities which adhere to circular principles:

FCC Environment’s circular economy report  

However, delivering a circular economy will take a collaboration between many partners.  You may wish to read more about the circular economy and how some of the key players envisage its development:

Circular Economy

The waste & resource industry is at the heart of the circular economy
Source: Environmental Services Association

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Environmental Services Report

The Environmental Services Association represents the waste and resource industry in the UK and in their report Going for Growth – A Practical Route to a Circular Economy, they estimate that a circular economy could generate 50,000 new jobs with £10 billion of investment boosting gross domestic product by £3 billion.

The report adds: “On current trends, we expect only 255 million tonnes [of potentially recyclable material] to be successfully returned to the economy.  But if we could capture the remaining 140 million tonnes of recyclable resources there would be £1.4 billion in extra recyclate revenues for the UK economy.” 

Download a PDF of the report here:

The Green Alliance

Green Alliance is an influential environmental think tank working to ensure UK political leaders deliver ambitious solutions to global environmental issues.  Resource resilient UK is a report produced by their Circular Economy Task Force.

The report shows that resource security concerns have increased significantly over the past five years, reflecting risks affecting the availability and the price of materials essential to industry.  The root causes of resource insecurity lie substantially in environmental problems.  Water scarcity, rising extraction costs for fossil fuels and limitations on land availability increasingly constrain supply at a time when demand is growing.  Greater visibility of globalised supply chains, alongside rising public concern about environmental damage, is compounding these pressures.  To address resource constraints on business, the Circular Economy Task Force has identified how reuse, remanufacturing and secondary material supplies can address the root causes of resource insecurity.

See the link below for full details of the report:

Resource resilient UK

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is an independent charity with the aim of inspiring a generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future through the vision of a circular economy.  As part of its mission to accelerate the process, the Foundation has conducted analysis and published the first ever report series highlighting the economic rationale for the transition to a circular economyan opportunity, it suggests, that represents in excess of two trillion US dollars for the global economy.

 See how the Resource Revolution programme is also helping the UK to drive greater resource efficiency.

The Royal Society of Arts

The RSA believes the current economic and environmental challenges of “take, make, dispose” manufacturing are becoming apparent. Increasing supply risk and rising costs of materials is putting pressure on businesses to change. The need to shift towards more circular systems and good design thinking is pivotal to this transition. The RSA’s Great Recovery project – and the accompanying report Investigating the Role of Design in the Circular Economy – is building new networks to explore the issues, investigate innovation gaps and incubate new partnerships.

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