Go Circular or get left behind

She was addressing the attendees at Sustainability Live last week (1-3rd April). On that smog filled day in Bermingham, Goodwin predicted that UK companies who embrace the circular economy model will outperform their competitors and grab substantial economic gains in the process.

Our current “throwaway linear economic model” will become a millstone around our necks if we do not quickly adopt a circular approach. Technology moves on, and those firms adopting best practice will ‘eat the lunch’ of those still mired in linear mode.

The WRAP boss pointed out some insightful statistics to quantify the gains on the circular table for us all.

Drawing on WRAP’s work, she said that:

  • there was scope for 10,000 new jobs to be created in the recycling sector alone by 2020 with a circular approach.
  • businesses could reduce their costs by more than £50bn a year.

We know there is growing talk about the circular economy, but the danger lies in not following up on this talk with real action. If the ‘talking shop’ mode continues, there is a real danger that a move to a circular economy will lose momentum and falter.

The challenge is for us all to start acting on a micro level and not wait for macro initiatives to kick in from slow acting Governments. It’s time to ‘get on your bike’, adapt to a changing world or fall out of the race.

With an extra 3 Billion members of the global middle classes competing for material resources by 2050, there is no time to waste.