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Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1401; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051401

Co-Producing a Vision and Approach for the Transition towards a Circular Economy: Perspectives from Government Partners

1
Resource Recovery from Waste Programme, School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2
Environment Agency, Waste Strategy, Reading RG1 8DQ, UK
3
EcoideaM Ltd., 22 Atholl Street, Dunkeld PH8 0AR, UK
4
Independent Scholar, Bristol BS1 5AH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

The United Kingdom’s (UK) economy is overly reliant on unsustainable production and consumption practices that deplete finite resources at rates that will increase production costs, business risk, and economic instability; it also produces emissions and waste that cause climate change and environmental degradation, impacting on well-being in the UK and beyond. The Resource Recovery from Waste programme (RRfW) promotes a transition towards waste and resource management in a circular economy that restores the environment, creates societal benefits, and promotes clean growth by engaging relevant actors in academia, government, and industry to co-produce a shared vision and approach that will realise such a transition. Sharing the RRfW’s government engagement results, this article presents a positive outlook for changing the UK economy and society through waste and resource management practices that maximise the values of materials by circulating them in the economy for as long as possible. Key themes, regulatory instruments, a stable policy framework, and an approach for effective academic–government collaboration are proposed. Comparing the results to government plans in four UK nations shows great differences in progress towards realising a circular economy. The article concludes with recommendations to capitalise on opportunities for growth, innovation, and resilient infrastructure whilst contributing to quality jobs and welfare throughout the UK. View Full-Text
Keywords: resource efficiency; zero waste; Resource Recovery from Waste; low-carbon economy; circular economy infrastructure; clean growth; resource productivity; sustainable development goals; transdisciplinary research; participatory action research resource efficiency; zero waste; Resource Recovery from Waste; low-carbon economy; circular economy infrastructure; clean growth; resource productivity; sustainable development goals; transdisciplinary research; participatory action research
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Velenturf, A.P.M.; Purnell, P.; Tregent, M.; Ferguson, J.; Holmes, A. Co-Producing a Vision and Approach for the Transition towards a Circular Economy: Perspectives from Government Partners. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1401.

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