Circular economy isn't a magical fix for our environmental woes
Solutions to our waste crisis must also tackle economic growth, wasteful consumerism and inequality. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images The circular economy’s June jamboree in Finland, attended by around 1,500 experts and policymakers, showed just how much momentum the concept has gained in recent years. Little wonder. The circular economy model – which aims to use closed-loop production to keep resources in play for as long as possible – is presented as a pragmatic, win-win solution; an almost magical fix for our environmental woes. As well as easing climate change, resource depletion and waste, its backers promise economic growth and job creation too. Big business can continue to flourish, buoyed by “new opportunities” and “expanding markets”. But this vision ignores the fact that on a finite planet endless economic growth is not an option. And it fails to see that solving our ecological crises means diluting the power of global corporations – not propping them up. Fruit and veg come in their own natural wrapping. Why do we smother them in plastic? Read more One of the tenets of the circular economy is the idea that closing material and product loops will prevent primary production. But recent research published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology concludes that circular economy...
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