Closing the gaps in the circular economy

By: Anna Moore

The wheels of the circular economy have slowed over the past few years as the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an explosion in waste.

People have turned to disposable face masks to protect themselves from the virus and plastic-packaged food deliveries as they get used to life in lockdown. In Singapore alone, the already low recycling rate reached a 10-year low last year as waste collection and processing were hit by movement restrictions.

But though there have been set backs, the post-Covid recovery is an opportunity to move away from the traditional linear take-make-waste model towards a circular economy, says Clarissa Morawski, chief executive and co-founder of Reloop, a Brussels-headquartered non-profit that works with governments, industry and civic society groups to bring an end to waste.

Building a circular economy will help to bring about the economic benefits that government leaders are looking for, she argues. Increased material efficiency means less waste and more capital saved, and new business models that reuse rather than dispose, or use waste as goods, create new kinds of jobs and business potential that could help revive the global economy.