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Circular economy manifesto


Peterborough is the early stages, but we are seeking to understand resource flows within the city and identify interventions that can maximise the value gained, economically, socially and sustainably.

To kick start this, we have developed a consortium of more than 80 residents, businesses and third sector organisations from across the UK to develop a Circular Peterborough manifesto and series of demonstrator projects, including:

  • Creating a ‘materials’ passport’. This is a simple concept that aims to generate an in-depth understanding of the type and quantity of resources used and produced by Peterborough’s manufacturing industry in order to increase efficiency, reduce the time spent processing waste and generate impetus for new innovations. Materials, energy, transport and skills are all areas we would like to explore and map in order to identify inefficiencies and opportunities for circularity and sharing.
  • Shadow pricing. Basically this means identifying and applying a shadow price to waste that reflects its true value, taking into account the lifecycle of a product. The idea is that this will inform investment decisions and incentivise sustainable decision-making. It has the potential to encourage circularity in manufacturing because the cost associated with disposal, as well as the inherent value of the materials, will be realised.
  • Circular highways. We are keen to explore the concept in collaboration with Peterborough Highway Services, Skanska, Arup and Highways England to improve the resource efficiency and cost-effectiveness of construction through smarter use of materials, assets and space.
  • Food Cycle Peterborough, powered by Cross Keys Homes. Created under the principle that food waste and food poverty should not coexist, the city centre pilot will work to tackle two problems with one social dining project. Based on a triple donation model, the project utilises three essential ingredients: surplus food from supermarkets, enthusiastic volunteers and a community kitchen supplied by Westgate Church. The pilot will focus on equipping locally volunteers with the skills and professional qualifications to be able to cook delicious and nutritious meals from scratch.
  • Water shadow pricing. This pilot seeks to understand the full economic price of water used in the production, manufacturing, packaging, transport, cooling and so on of products and food.

Charlotte Palmer is environment, transport and future city manager at Peterborough City Council

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