What are the opportunities in a circular economy?
The circular economy could add $4.5 trillion to the global economy by 2030, rising to $25 trillion by 2050. It is also predicted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 39 percent, virgin material use by 28 percent and create up to 65 million new jobs. Yet many companies are a long way off adopting a circular economy system.
The greatest challenge in closing the loop is the fact that many components are not easy to separate out again. As such, recyclability by design is gaining popularity, enabling easier end-of-life recycling and reducing material costs. Digitalisation offers the promise of programming each material with a blockchain. At the end of use, information on optimal recycling processes could be easily extracted.