A task force to tackle the rising cost of global resources has been launched by the environmental charity Green Alliance.
The Circular Economy Task Force includes a mix of large businesses and other organisations, and aims to find practical solutions to mitigate the rising cost of raw materials through reuse and recovery.
It will look at how a circular economy, which captures materials so that goods become future resources rather than landfill, can reduce exposure to resource constraints and underpin the shift to a green economy.
The task force, which is part of the government’s Resource Security Action Plan, will look for practical solutions for companies to adopt and will identify the barriers to more sustainable business models.
Waste minister Lord Taylor said: “Rising material prices are a real risk to the economy, but also an opportunity for innovation. Forward thinking businesses are responding with innovative, circular business models.
“The Circular Economy Task Force will show how these business models can be taken up more widely, foster greater resilience to external shocks, and deliver green economic growth.”
Julie Hill, chair of the Circular Economy Task Force, said that the rising cost of commodities threatened to hamper economic growth.
“80% of our economy isn’t circular, it relies on a supply of cheap commodities and loses valuable materials in landfill. But cheap commodities are a thing of the past,” she said.
“Nike has just reported that its profits have been hit by rising resource costs and Credit Suisse suggested in April that commodity prices could rise by 20% in the second half of 2012.
“The risk is that without change, resource costs will constrain economic activity. We’re missing out on the economic opportunity that better material recovery offers.”
- MRW this week takes a special look at the circular economy