Circular Economy Task Force

Developing policy solutions for a circular economy
Circular Economy Task Force
The Circular Economy Task Force is a business group convened by Green Alliance. It is a forum for policy, innovation and business thinking on resource use in the UK and is currently chaired by Colin Church, chief executive of IOM3.
Since its establishment, the task force has produced a number of reports.  
  1. Resource resilient UK identified the barriers to business becoming more resilient, profitable and sustainable through better resource productivity, helping the UK to increase its resource security.
  2. Wasted opportunities showcased how addressing the UK’s broken recycling system can foster higher value reprocessing, and begin to encourage more valuable remanufacturing and redesign.
  3. UK resource governance for the 21st century highlighted the risks the UK's poor performance in improving resource security and productivity poses to businesses, and analysed potential solutions.
  4. Recycling reset: how England can stop subsidising waste identified an opportunity to rethink the household recycling system and provided recommendations to guide a new policy for England.
  5. Lean and clean: building manufacturing excellence in the UK proposed a manufacturing upgrade programme to support businesses in raising their resource efficiency in order to help close the north-south productivity divide and keep good jobs in the UK.
  6. A new direction for UK resource strategy after Brexit looked at how Defra can manage the divergence from existing EU waste and resource governance and create new policies after Brexit.
  7. Completing the Circle placed a spotlight on the amount of material often lost to the economy once collected, proposing new measures to complement recycling targets and 'pull' these materials back into use.

The task force’s most recent research has focused on the need to capitalise on public concern about plastic pollution to ensure the way we use resources is tackled in the round. Its recent outputs include Losing the bottle: why we don’t need single use containers for water and Plastic promises: what the grocery sector is really doing about packaging.

Fixing the solution: why a circular economy for all materials is the only way to solve the plastic problem is the latest report from the task force and was officially launched at an expert panel event that explored how the UK can ditch throwaway society. More information about the event can be found here

Some of the recommendations of the Task Force were picked up by the UK’s Environmental Audit Committee’s Growing a circular economy report, and by the Scottish Government’s Resource Use and the Circular Economy inquiry.

The task force has also established the North Sea Resource Roundabout project, working with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the UK to identify the regulatory barriers to the trade and use of recycled materials across European countries, and working with regulators to develop solutions.

We have also published the infographic, The social benefits of a circular economy: lessons from the UK, which demonstrates the social benefits of a more circular economy and how EU policy can help to deliver them, as well as the policy insight, A new direction for UK resource strategy after Brexit, which looks at how Defra can manage the divergence from existing EU waste and resource governance and create new policies after Brexit.

The current members of the Task Force are PwC, Kingfisher, Viridor, Walgreens Boots Alliance, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, and Veolia.

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