Cottrill Research, LLC

The Circular Economy: Growth and Innovation

The Circular Economy: Growth and Innovation

You probably have started seeing more coverage these days about the circular economy.

According to the EPA, a circular economy “reduces material use, redesigns materials to be less resource intensive, and recaptures ‘waste’ as a resource to manufacture new materials and products.”

Indicators are signaling the need for companies, especially manufacturers, to contemplate investing in the circular economy. Here are a few examples:

  • The most recent Circularity Gap Report states that “rising waste levels are accompanying the rapid acceleration of consumption: ultimately, over 90% of all materials extracted and used are wasted. Or, on the flip side, only 8.6% make it back into our economy.”
  • ABI Research has forecasted that the circular economy will experience rapid growth in the next five years and by the end of the decade, “the world economy is expected to achieve 10.5% circularity.”
  • Accenture found consumers increasingly prioritize sustainability and social issues with seventy-one percent of consumers across all age groups saying brands should do more to make it easier for them to buy and consume sustainably.
  • IFS survey results show the circular economy is growing in focus among manufacturers, “with 12% saying it is a corporate focus and already deployed and a further 80% either in the process of piloting circular economy initiatives; having finalized circular economy objectives and in the process of deploying them, or in the process of developing objectives around circular economy.”

Startup discovery platform provider, StartUs Insights has identified top circular economy trends and how startups are using technology to offer solutions. The trends are: Waste-to-Resource, Reuse, Internet of Waste, Artificial Intelligence, Bio-Based Materials, Remanufacture, Blockchain, and Repair.

Startups highlighted include (descriptions directly quoted):

WAIR – sneakers from textile waste
SEaB Energy – waste-to-energy solutions
Excess Materials Exchange – online marketplace for reuse
VYTAL – reusable packaging-as-a-service
Recytrust – IoT-based digital weight scale for recycling bins
Ishitva Robotics Systems – smart waste bin
RECYCLEYE – AI-Powered waste management solutions
Lixo – AI tool for waste characterization
Teysha Technologies – sustainable polymers
MOGU – Eco-friendly interior design materials from Mycelium
Circular Computing – remanufactured laptops
Resolute Industrial – remanufactured compressors
Circularise – traceability of materials with blockchain
NatureCoin – blockchain-based reward system
FixFirst – digitized repair & maintenance services
Veras – repair station for clothes

Photo credit: Shirley810 via Pixabay

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