The Circular Economy Task Force is a business group convened by Green Alliance. It is a forum for policy, innovation and business thinking on resource use in the UK and is currently chaired by Colin Church, chief executive of IOM3.
The Task Force's first report, Resource resilient UK, identified the barriers to business becoming more resilient, profitable and sustainable through better resource productivity, helping the UK to increase its resource security. Its second report, Wasted opportunities, shows how addressing the UK’s broken recycling system can foster higher value reprocessing, and begin to encourage more valuable remanufacturing and redesign. Its third report, UK resource governance for the 21st century, highlights the risks the UK's poor performance in improving resource security and productivity poses to businesses, and analyses potential solutions. Its fourth report, Recycling reset: how England can stop subsidising waste, shows there is an opportunity to rethink the household recycling system and provides recommendations to guide a new policy for England. It's fifth report, Lean and clean: building manufacturing excellence in the UK, proposes a manufacturing upgrade programme to support businesses in raising their resource efficiency, to help close the north-south productivity divide and to keep good jobs in the UK. Its sixth report, A new direction for UK resource strategy after Brexit, looks at how Defra can manage the divergence from existing EU waste and resource governance and create new policies after Brexit. Its most recent report, Completing the Circle, highlights that, once collected, materials are often lost to the economy, and proposes new measures to complement recycling targets which would help to 'pull' these materials back into use in manufacturing.
The Task Force is continuing to research the policy solutions that would enable businesses to make the necessary changes for a more circular economy, optimising the UK's resource use.
Some of the recommendations of the Task Force were picked up by the UK’s Environmental Audit Committee’s Growing a circular economy report, and by the Scottish Government’s Resource Use and the Circular Economy inquiry.
The task force has also established the North Sea Resource Roundabout project, working with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the UK to identify the regulatory barriers to the trade and use of recycled materials across European countries, and working with regulators to develop solutions.
We have also published the infographic, The social benefits of a circular economy: lessons from the UK, which demonstrates the social benefits of a more circular economy and how EU policy can help to deliver them, as well as the policy insight, A new direction for UK resource strategy after Brexit, which looks at how Defra can manage the divergence from existing EU waste and resource governance and create new policies after Brexit.
The current members of the Task Force are Kingfisher, Viridor, Walgreens Boots Alliance, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, and Veolia.