Viridor and Veolia to spearhead circular economy taskforce

Waste leaders will help steer a new circular economy taskforce to tackle the threat of rising resource costs through the development of smarter reuse and recovery solutions.

The taskforce, which edie reported on exclusively last month, was officially launched by Dame Ellen MacArthur yesterday (July 4) in London – her foundation is one of the leading voices in the UK calling for a shift towards a more circular economy.

Among its members are Veolia and Viridor who will help the taskforce continue the work of the Designing out Waste Forum, which canvassed opinion from a variety of businesses to find ways to increase resource efficiency. Other members include Alliance Boots, BASF, Interface and WRAP.

The Defra-backed group is being led by the Green Alliance and chaired by one of its associates, Julie Hill. She said that cheap commodities “were a thing of the past”.

“80% of our economy isn’t circular – it relies on a supply of cheap commodities and loses valuable materials from landfill. The risk is that without change, resource costs will constrain economic activity. We’re missing out on the economic opportunity that better material recovery offers,” she maintained.

Brand leaders are already being hit by rising resource costs – recently Nike reported its profits had been affected and Credit Suisse suggested in April that commodity prices could rise by 20% in the second half of 2012.

Speaking at the Resource Recovery forum earlier this week, Hill said that more needed to be done to increase recycling rates across the UK, particularly in England, where the national 42% rate was “still not very impressive if we’re thinking about being circular”.

Maxine Perella

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