Banning plastic straws and bags is just the start. In the background of Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s plan to ban toxic plastics by 2021 and move to zero plastic waste by 2030 is a big-theory concept known as “the circular economy.”
In announcing the bag ban, Wilkinson said the plan “embraces the transition towards a circular economy.”
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It’s all the rage at the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, within the EU, at sustainable development institutes and among business consultancies never shy about jumping on a lucrative bandwagon. The leading global consultancy flogging the circular economy (CE) is Accenture. In 2015 it launched the idea into the corporate and government policy stratosphere with Waste to Wealth: The Circular Economy Advantage.
Waste to Wealth is packed with hype and big claims — and a big number: “Our research indicates a $4.5-trillion reward for turning current waste into wealth by 2030. That’s not just waste in the traditional sense of rubbish, but the enormous underutilization of natural resources, products and assets. It’s about eliminating the very concept of ‘waste’ and recognizing everything has a value.”