Global – By adopting a circular economy business model, consumer goods companies around the globe would stand to save US$ 700 billion, according to a report released by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The US$ 3.2 trillion global market for clothing, food and drinks currently produces 35% of the products in the economy and creates 75% of all municipal waste, the foundation points out. ‘Moving to this new model could be worth up to US$ 630 billion for Europe alone,’ it suggests. Apart from the notable goods material savings, additional benefits would include land productivity and supply chain stability.
The collection and processing of household food waste to generate biogas ‘represents a huge opportunity’, says the report. ‘One tonne of food waste can create electricity worth US$ 26, heat worth US$ 18 and fertiliser worth US$ 6. As an example, for the UK alone this could represent an income stream of US$ 1.5 billion annually.’
Meanwhile, increasing the amount of clothing that is reused or remade could potentially cut up to US$ 71 billion in material costs in the textiles sector. ‘Beverage manufacturers could reduce material inputs and the price of packaging by moving to re-usable glass bottles,’ it also states. ‘This would enable a cost reduction of 20% per hectolitre of beer.’
Foundation founder Ellen MacArthur comments: ‘We have seen tremendous momentum building behind the circular economy in the last year.’ With this report making the economic case clearer, she adds that she expects to see ‘more and more businesses exploring this new way of thinking’.
For more information, visit: www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org