Newsletter – December 2021

circular economy news

Lots of very positive developments in the world of sustainability and circularity this month. I was particularly interested in the EPA’s research into attitudes to the climate crisis in Ireland, compiled into the report ‘Climate Change in the Irish Mind’. It’s an accessible and comprehensive report, which is a must for anyone involved in or interested in sustainable businesss development.

Although the overal trajectory of the data was positive, yet again we see a gap between people’s attitudes and their behaviour.

  • 90% of respondents said they want businesses to do more to tackle climate change
  • 50% of respondents have bought a good or service from a company because they have taken action to reduce climate change. but 61% said they plan to do it more.
  • 45% of respondents admint to punishing companies that are opposing steps to reduce climate change by NOT buying their products, but 56% plan on doing more of it

For me the golden goose lies in reducing this gap with innovative business models that deliver genuine customer value. There’s something to look forward to in 2022.

And now for the rest of the news items …….

Ireland’s all-party committee issues 48 recommendations for switch to circular economy

Patagonia is donating all of it’s $10 millionBlack Friday sales that it made to fighting the climate crisis.

Although designing out waste or turning it into something usable is always preferable I applaud this ‘out of the box’ solution to the problem of waste oil in the home. US product, Fryaway is a powder the converts wastse oil into a solid allowing it to be disposed of more easily

Share your thoughts on the circular economy with Fine Gael. You can fill out this survey as an individual or a business, and is a great opportunity to highlight the barriers to becoming more circular / sustainable in Ireland

Mercedes-Benz unveil solar-powered car with transparent front hood which was created with the recently-deceased fashion designer Virgil Abloh (see photo)

The demand for leather for the fashion industry is a driver of deforestation in the Amazon, and this new report from Slow Factory has mapped the connections to some familiar brands.

Is this the future? A micro factory running on renewable energy that recycles plastic from a nearby waste processing plant

Purpose Disruptors are a network of advertising insiders working to reshape their industry to tackle the climate crisis. They calculate that the advertising is responsible for adding 28% more to the average UK person’s carbon footprint. (via Sustainability Works)

Researcher in Wales develops raw meat tray that is completely recyclable

Canadian company Sole’s carbon-negative footwear collection is crafted from recycled wine corks.

Australian brewery fight climate change by feeding carbon to algae

A sustainable way to procure renewable electricity

An affordable carbon accounting solution

A deposit return scheme for pallets launches in the UK

Findings from a pilot of reusable take-away containers in Wales is published

The IGBC have launched Carbon Designer for Ireland, a free and simple tool to estimate the carbon impact of your project at an early stage of building design.

Ikea pledges to eliminate all plastic packaging on its products by 2028.

German scientists turn popcorn into safe, plant-based building insulation.

M&S trials clothing rental as ASOS launches open-source circular economy guide.

Honeywell is turning low-grade plastic waste into high-quality oil refinery feedstock.

Dublin to host Circular Economy Hotspot in 2023

Researchers from the University of Limerick have joined an EU project to make composite materials recyclable.

Apple has announced a self-service repair program

Asos and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion have released an open-source, interactive circular design guidebook to help fashion brands pursue circularity with nine design strategies.

Have a wonderful Christmas break and I’ll see you in 2022 for another year of circular economy and design news.


Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy