Circulate on Fridays: new circular economy standard, ridesharing done properly and robot tax
Your weekly blast of circular economy news is here! This week we take a look at the Waze car-share scheme in LA as well as a big launch from the British Standards Institute and more!
The British Standards Institute (BSI) has announced its long-awaited standard BS8001, focused on implementing the principles of a circular economy. Sustainable Brands reports that the standard will shed light on the circular economy and the benefits it holds for businesses, as well as guiding them towards implementing these principles in order to create value in their field. The standard has been the subject of nearly 30 months’ research and development, including input from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, as the BSI have been aiming to ensure that the regulations meet their requirements. Circulate will be keeping track of the reaction to this announcement in the coming weeks.
The Guardian assembles a list of six of the products which are designed to eliminate waste from our everyday lives. The list includes a concept developed by IDEO which posts your unused appliances for sale online automatically. The Use Me/Lose Me service monitors the use of your electricals via web-connected chips and sends you a text with a valuation. You may then authorise the sale and the service takes care of the logistics. The list also includes a bottle which doesn’t use a lid, but instead bends around to plug itself. The bottle is designed to eliminate plastic waste, and designer Marilu Valente discussed it during the 2016 Disruptive Innovation Festival back in November.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, an innovative solution to congestion has been engineered. Core77 report that, in a bid to reduce the terrible traffic, a wayfinding app called Waze (which is owned by Alphabet – Google’s parent company) has been used to create Waze Carpool. LA has the highest number of Waze users in the world, and the app aims to combat this by pairing drivers and passengers heading in the same direction. The app will be released to the city next week, and the hope is that it will cut traffic by encouraging drivers to make the most of the room in their cars. While services like Uber and Lyft have proliferated, they’ve largely steered away from a ride-sharing model, and could just be adding to traffic problems. Let’s see if the Waze solution could make better use of the cars already on the road.
With big trends shifting and shaking the status quo, it’s no wonder people are looking to the circular economy as an alternative model. One of the trends to keep an eye on is automation, and in Wired Matt Simon investigates whether a robot tax will be the required to “pay for the future”, when technological unemployment could see a big drop in revenues from income tax. Updating our fiscal systems can be a crucial lever in steering the economy in the right direction, as Femke Groothuis explored in her recent piece for Circulate.
Finally, applications for the 2017 Green Alley award are open until 25th June. The award, which seeks products and services that embrace circularity by turning waste into a resource, is the first of its kind in Europe and began in 2014. The prize aims to discover start-ups and people with business ideas that align with the principles of a circular economy, with a cash prize and bundle of support on offer to accelerate efforts.