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.

The task force’s most recent report, Completing the Circle, placed a spotlight on the amount of material often lost to the economy once collected and proposes new measures to complement recycling targets which would help to 'pull' these materials back into use in manufacturing.
The Task Force is continuing to research the policy solutions that would enable businesses to make the necessary changes for a more circular economy, optimising the UK's resource use.

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 Kingfisher, Viridor, Walgreens Boots Alliance, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, and Veolia.

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