Blog Type, IPT Blog, Industry Sector, Ethics & Sustainability, Manufacturing | March 2017

The Opportunities and Challenges of a Circular Economy

A circular economy aims to promote greater resource by seeking to rebuild capital and facilitate enhanced flows of goods and services. It has been calculated that by adopting a circular economy, UK business could benefit up to £23bn per year through the efficient use of resources. 

On Wednesday 22 March 2017 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a breakfast meeting on the topic of The Opportunities and Challenges of a Circular Economy. By bringing together industry experts and parliamentarians this meeting created a platform for discussion on the benefits the UK could achieve by adopting this approach.  The meeting also examined the challenges that the UK could face when sculpting a circular economy.

Throughout the breakfast meeting the group heard from speaker Julian Hunt, Vice President Public Affairs and Communications GB at Coca-Cola European Partners and chair Alex Cunningham MP. 

  • Throughout the discussion three notable themes emerged; market challenges, structural implications and consumer perceptions
  • It was identified that in order to achieve a circular economy, the entire proportion of the consumer landscape must shift from a ‘throw away’ society to one that monitors our external consumption and behaviour
  • The lack of recycling resources available within the UK was a key theme; implying that we could do and learn more from international recycling schemes and plants.
  • There was also emphasis on the need to provide consumers with additional knowledge on the efficiency of a circular economy; inspiring new talent into the industry and re-shaping sustainable perceptions towards products. 

Words by Rioco Green