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Circular economy boost for UK job prospects?

United Kingdom – Improving resource efficiency can make a ‘valuable contribution’ to Britain’s labour market, according to a new study from the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and the UK’s Green Alliance charity and environmental think tank. In fact, the circular economy could create an additional 205 000 jobs between now and the year 2030, it is contended.

′This report is the first of its kind that pinpoints exactly who, what and where could benefit from the implementation of the circular economy,′ says WRAP′s ceo Liz Goodwin. ′This signals a major new opportunity for Britain′s economy, and could deliver jobs where they′re needed the most.′

A ′tantalising′ outlook

And Matthew Spencer, director at Green Alliance, observes: ′At a time when many are worried about where jobs will come from in future, it is a tantalising prospect to have a sector which offers a wide range of new jobs right across the country, especially in regions with high unemployment.′

To stimulate these new jobs in remanufacturing and reuse, the government must ′play its part′ in setting higher standards for product and resource recovery, according to Spencer. ′The biggest opportunity to do that is in the EU circular economy package which is being renegotiated this year – but the UK will have to become an active champion of higher ambition or we could end up with no new policy drivers for investment.′

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has estimated that adopting the circular business model could generate over US$ 1 trillion for the global economy by 2025.

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