The Circularity Gap
Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries’ David Newman says he is a ‘circular economy sceptic’. Here, he looks at the 2021 Circularity Gap report, which he says suggests the world’s economy has become ‘more linear, not less’.
I have long been a sceptic on the circular economy. The core of my argument has been that the continuously declining real value of raw materials, and in general of manufactured goods, has meant that repurposing them, reusing them, recycling them or even (in the case of food waste) composting them, has cost more than producing new products from virgin raw materials sources. It has been cheaper to throw them away.
This is the Jevons Paradox of course; increased production efficiency and consumption of a product will cause its price to fall. Scarcity has rarely been at play in recent economic history.
Circular Economy has become (along with…