How sustainable is the circular economy?

This lecture will be delivered by Dr Pauline Deutz from University of Hull on Tuesday 26th February 2019.

An alternative to the traditional linear ‘make, use and dispose’ model, a circular economy aims to use resources for as long as possible then dispose of these responsibly, reuse them or recycle the materials. Developing a circular economy has become a major policy initiative in the EU, and also the UK. As with other green economy initiatives, there is an explicit assumption that implementing circular economy initiatives would bring economic advantage – not only to business, but also to places. However, little is known about the sustainability implications of a circular economy, i.e., what are the economic, environmental and social implications of the diverse range of activities which are promoted as part of the drive to circularity. This talk will draw on the ideas behind a recently funded project which is addressing these issues, as well as providing some context from previous research. In particular, it will consider the challenges associated with the recovery of high value components from bulk residues.

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