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Circulate on Fridays: A new kind of thinking that goes beyond recycling

Where did January go? On Circulate, we looked at how 3D printing is transforming the nature of business, opportunities for India to transition to a regenerative development path, a new industry-backed narrative on plastic packaging and global water challenges through a circular economy lens. Our first Circulate on Fridays for February highlights a new film via The Economist, a completely new way of thinking about home improvement stores originating in Texas and so much more!

Want to get a snapshot of the circular economy initiatives happening around the world today? Jack Barrie’s useful summary includes focuses on circular cities, global collaborative initiatives and more.

“A new kind of thinking that goes beyond just recycling”. Watch the new film from The Economist film, which explores the circular economy in 14 minutes with some excellent footage and useful perspectives.

“Products are arranged not by function—lighting, painting, plumbing, and so on—but divided into ‘design’ and ‘performance’ categories, and then organised by themes: air, water, daylighting, energy. In each area of the store, members of a highly informed sales staff are on hand to discuss projects and solutions. Maybe you came in just to replace an air-conditioning unit, but have you thought about insulating your attic and sealing your ducts? The vibe is less do-it-yourself and more let’s-do-it-together.” Phillip Pantuso tells the story of an Austin, Texas based home improvement store that plans to retrofit and transform the residential building centre.

Artificial Intelligence is often cited as a potential key enabler of the circular economy, but there are understandable concerns about the development of super intelligent computers. For anyone who is concerned, the 23 Asimolar Principles, established at a conference in California and endorsed by leading thinkers including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, may offer some comfort. Unsurprisingly, “human control” has made the list! 

A report by think tank Green Alliance called Getting it right from the start, has highlighted bioplastics, carbon fibre and 3D printing as the critical “starting points” for unlocking the circular economy’s true potential in the UK.

Find out how the City of Phoenix and one of its more innovative startups have combined to remap the city’s recycling and resource utilities in this story on GreenBiz.

Increasing evidence of the negative impacts and economic losses in plastic packaging produced by sources like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative is forcing brands to re-think packaging. This Guardian article focuses on how M&S, Unilever and others are promising a redesign of the system for a better plastics economy.

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The Author

Seb Egerton-Read

Seb Egerton-Read

Seb writes daily content for Circulate across the full spectrum of the website's topics. Previously he has spent five years as a freelance writer for a number of websites and blogs. You can e-mail Seb at seb[at]circulatenews.org

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