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Circulate on Fridays: Is this the end of ownership? Watch the ‘story of microfibres’

We can’t cover all of the interesting circular economy related story every week, so we offer Circulate on Fridays as a weekend check in on the lay of the land! This week, we invite you to listen to a podcast on whether we’re seeing the ‘end of ownership’, explore leather made from mushrooms, the continued rapid rise of electric vehicles and solar, and much more…

Ellen MacArthur joined a BBC World Service programme to discuss the circular economy this week. It asked the question: is personal ownership on the way out? With more and more of the world’s largest companies exploring product as a service business models, it isn’t as farfetched as it might sound. Listen to an interesting discussion, which also featured IDEO’s Chris Grantham, and HP’s Kirstie McIntyre.

Could your leather jacket soon be made from plant waste? Adele Peters writes about a new leather made from mushrooms by startup Mycoworks.

Do you know the story of microfibres? Watch this animation from The Story of Stuff Project on the microfibres leaking into the natural environment.

How can we make sure that self-driving vehicles are as safe as possible? Swedish engineering firm Semcon might just have the solution proposing to add interactivity to vehicles. They have designed a concept where eye contact with a driver is replaced by an autonomous vehicle being able to light up a smile to let pedestrians know that it has seen them and that it is safe to cross. It’s a thought that has a slight eery, science fiction feel to it, but it could well seem completely normal in the not too distant future.

Projections for the number of electric vehicles on the road by 2025 have been more than doubled, and according to The Economist, furthermore there are Think Tanks who argue that even the significantly increased current estimate is probably conservative.

Marcel Wubbolts, Chief Technology Officer at Corbion, and formerly part of the leadership team at Royal DSM, explores the circular economy and in particular touches on topics significant for the biological side of the model in his TEDx talk in Maastricht.

Finally, solar and other forms of renewable energy continue to go from strength to strength. The Guardian highlights new figures showing that the amount of solar power added worldwide soared by 50% last year, mostly because of large increases in the US and China.

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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]

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