Energy and Material Flows
While the transition to a circular economy is underway, the recovery of metals and minerals from existing and future ‘above-ground’ resources or waste materials forms a key part of the economic opportunity presented in this new framework.
Current low costs of raw materials, further enabled by cheap oil, are increasingly being cited as a factor holding back progress towards circular economy models, most notably in the secondary materials market, where companies like Closed Loop Recycling have struggled to stay operational. However, Dutch bank ING has now suggested
In Circulate’s most recent feature piece, “To make things better, make better things”, Rapanui co-founder Martin Drake-Knight makes the point that good economics and a healthy environment are too often represented as oppositions. He argues that the best of both worlds is achievable through the combination of creative design, business
A combination of growing mining capacity and reduced trade barriers have assisted a significant drop in prices across the global metals market during the past four years, facilitating increased profitability in the European tech sector. However, a new report released by ING Bank, titled “Metals, a dangerous complacency?’, argues that
One of the biggest challenges associated with creating effective material flows, where products and components are kept at their highest value for as long as possible cycling through the economy, is the separating out of different streams. Part of the solution is to make the flows effective to the point
Ask people about environment and economy, and many feel the two are opposites. So compromise is necessary: ‘It’d be nice to have both, but…’ It’s no surprise. The last generation lived through times when the environmental movement pointed at the problem with a familiar graphic (but no solution): a set
A new deal has been announced that will see Tesla’s new battery technology used to help power 24 office buildings in California. Real estate firm the Irvine Company are investing in large battery systems (as large as five parking spaces). They expect to reduce peak grid energy consumption across their
The Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) completes a consultation on the measures needed to implement circular economy principles this week. A survey was designed to capture the business opportunities and practical steps that furniture manufacturers and retailers can take in transitioning to circular processes and products.
Every Friday, Circulate rounds up a collection of interesting circular economy related stories and articles. This Friday, check out Zeoform, a new replacement for plastics, an article on 3D printing ecosystems and much more…
The vision for clothing in the circular economy, as in many sectors, is “in-development”. On both the technical and business side, a different model for the industry presents challenges for designers, manufacturers and retailers alike. However, that context also leaves open opportunities for innovation, new thinking and new technology. Seattle-based startup Evrnu has