The voice of the UK technology industry, techUK, has today called for a coherent regulatory approach to Circular Economy policies at both a national and European level.
With proposals for new circular economy measures by the European Commission in development, a paper launched reveals critical success factors and warns against fragmented, complicated and burdensome regulations.
Sureyya Cansoy, Director, Tech for Business & Consumer at techUK commented: “The tech industry has been a leader in adopting circular economy models, while also enabling other industries to implement practices.
“Despite this, opportunities for implementing circular economy thinking remain underexploited. The successful development of a circular economy depends on a robust business case, a coherent policy framework and good consumer engagement.”
The paper sets out a ten-point string of recommendations for policy makers:
• Focus on re-use, not just waste
• Remember the consumer in consultation
• Use Government procurement to promote the circular economy
• Overcome inertia in policy implementation
• Encourage market pull for non-virgin products and materials
• Ensure regulation does not inhibit the circular economy
• Broaden the agenda to include commercial considerations
• Recognise the opportunity for reform
• Do not turn the circular economy into an end in itself
• Ensure a more robust dialogue with the technology industry.
Simon Eves, Chairman of the Environment Strategy Council at techUK and Head of Environmental Affairs at Panasonic UK said: “Tech gives us so many benefits and we all enjoy using it, but it is a key consumer of resources. Circular Economy thinking is already thriving in the tech industry but there is much more that can be done. In addition, as legislators become increasingly involved with the Circular Economy this presents both opportunities but also risks.
“Forward looking tech companies see Circular Economy thinking as central to their own sustainability and are actively engaged in the subject. This paper gives a clear view on the Circular Economy from the tech sector and is an important contribution to the debate from the heart of the tech industry.”
Kevin Considine, Vice Chair, techUK Environment Strategy Council and Sustainability Affairs Manager at Samsung, added: “The report recognises the positive steps our sector has already taken to develop resource efficient business models and how innovation in technology has a significant role to play in delivering a more sustainable future.
“The tech sector is agile, adaptive and dynamic and is committed to working collaboratively with relevant stakeholders to do more. However, importantly, the report identifies that for the circular economy to take off it needs to be championed by the economic case for action, how the current policy landscape for waste and resources is fragmented, and how circular design must not lose sight that, in the end, almost all products are designed for people and their needs.”