Further boost for Scotland’s circular economy with design collaboration project

A new partnership by Zero Waste Scotland is aiming to accelerate the country's progress towards a circular economy by calling on resource experts, product scientists and material scientists to collaborate and re-think design.

The ‘Great Recovery’ project is a partnership with the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA) that aims to build networks to explore the issues of how products are designed, manufactured, used and disposed.

“Collaboration is a key part of developing a circular economy in Scotland,” said Zero Waste Scotland’s circular economy manager Maurice Golden. “This partnership will form an important part of the Scottish Government’s plans to engage with and debate the opportunities of a circular economy.” 

Challenges & opportunities

One of the ways the partnership aims to encourage collaboration is by holding two workshops which will bring together designers, engineers, technicians, manufacturers, brands and waste managers. The workshops will explore the nature of supply chains, logistics, resource efficiency, waste and business or technical challenges through practical ‘tear down’ exercises; to identify challenges and opportunities that will come from moving towards a closed-loop system.

They will also explore different waste streams such as electronic products, textiles, food, packaging, and the opportunities that exist in ‘designing up’ new products and services in different industries.

Infographic: How the circular economy could create 200,000 jobs

“These workshops are a great way to kick the partnership off and I hope to see designers from across sectors contributing to and learning about the circular economy,” Golden added. 

This partnership is the latest move by Zero Waste Scotland in its bid to achieve one of its six key delivery priorities for 2014-15. It follows the opening of a new Scottish Institute of Remanufacturing yesterday (22 January) at the University of Strathclyde, funded in part by Zero Waste Scotland.

The Green Alliance also published a report earlier this week that said that the development of a circular economy could create more than 200,000 jobs across the UK by 2030.

Lucinda Dann

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie