“One of the challenges is how best to put sellers in touch with buyers.”
The transition from a linear-based economy to a circular economy needs to be accelerated to help tackle climate change, the Prince of Wales has said. Speaking at a “Waste to Wealth” summit in London yesterday, Prince Charles said: “The small steps we have taken towards a circular economy will need to become giant strides if we are to achieve the required changes before time runs out. But this is not all about risk. As some of the pioneers have shown, there are opportunities too, which is why today’s event is entitled ‘waste to wealth’.”
He mentioned “forward-thinking businesses” like chemicals giant Solvay, who he said was “already putting the principles of the circular economy in practice”.
“In the chemicals sector, innovative de-inking processes are allowing 100% re-use of recovered pulp by Kemira, and up to 90% of phosphorescent chemicals are being recycled from waste fluorescent lamps by Solvay," Prince Charles said.
However, he also said that the issue of climate change was pressing: “We are the first generation to understand that we are destroying our world. We are the last to be able to do something about it.”
At the gathering brands such as Co-operative Bank (@coopukfood), Sky (@SkyUK), Greggs (@GreggsOfficial), Heineken (@Heineken), Iceland (@IcelandFoods) and Toyota (@toyotagb) committed to double the UK’s resource productivity and reduce avoidable waste by 2030.
Prince Charles said that all those involved in the resource management supply chain needed to work closely together.
He explained: “One of the challenges is how best to put sellers in touch with buyers. How does one company know what another might be able to offer? A centralised location would be one solution, but it doesn’t make sense to move materials further than is necessary.
“So, I was intrigued to hear about the innovative approach being developed in the Netherlands by a company called Excess Materials Exchange. They have developed a digital marketplace where companies can exchange materials and products, and which seeks to identify the highest value uses. This is still at the pilot stage, but does look promising as an example of a new approach that might help unlock the full potential of the circular economy.”