At Circular Philadelphia, we know that now is the time to transform the local and regional economy from a linear make-take-trash model to a circular model based on reuse and waste reduction right here in Philadelphia. However, we also know that we need to look beyond Philadelphia to see what opportunities, strategies and technologies are developing around the world to transform our global economy toward increased circularity.
One of the key papers we have been studying as of late is from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The circular economy: a transformative Covid-19 recovery strategy: How policymakers can pave the way to a low carbon, prosperous future (2020).
This seminal paper explores the circular economy through three very important principles:
- The world is facing an unparalleled global crisis, highlighting the shortcomings of our current system.
- How governments act today will shape the post-Covid-19 world for generations to come.
- A circular economy offers a tangible pathway towards a low-carbon and prosperous recovery.
We could not agree more with these statements. Although the death and devastation at the height of the pandemic made many thoughtful leaders and innovators hesitant to look for opportunities, the recovery can address every health, economic, social and environmental inequity that the pandemic laid bare and also benefit from a once-in-a-century funding and political opportunities to drastically change the way our world works.
When it comes to increasing circularity in this paradigm, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s paper lays out the following areas where they see the most opportunity for increased circularity post-pandemic:
As you can see here on our site, the Built Environment, Food Systems (including plastic packaging) and Textiles are key areas that we are looking to support through policy advocacy, market transformation and infrastructure development in Philadelphia. So we are very excited to learn from the global models that the Ellen MacArthur Foundation captured in this paper and employ these learnings in Philadelphia as we continue to strive toward greater circularity in these sectors.