The UK government has an opportunity to create new jobs and drive economic growth through expanding the circular economy. This sees products and resources kept in use for as long as possible through reuse, recovery, remanufacturing and recycling.
The UK’s current approach is unsustainable. Too many products and materials are cast aside without a structure in place to reclaim them or prolong their use. Too much value is lost through destruction and disposal. A reused iPhone, for example, retains around 48 per cent of its original value, whereas as recyclate it retains just 0.24 per cent.
Here Green Alliance shows that greater government ambition for an effective and expanded circular economy by 2035 would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs across the country. Just a few new policies focused on improving the use of valuable resources, led by the Treasury, would help to drive economic growth and the government’s own levelling up agenda, while supporting environmental aspirations.