As part of the Circular Economy 100 (CE100), an innovation programme of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a new report on Renewable Materials for a Low-carbon and Circular Economy has been published together with the companies and CE100 partners Essity, IKEA, Royal DSM and Tetra Pak.
According to the report, renewable materials present significant market opportunities across the economy today and in the future, such as in the packaging, chemical, hygiene products and construction sectors. Further investment in new feedstocks and production methods could support the rapidly growing bio-industry.
Full deployment of renewable materials can drive an innovation agenda and drive economic growth. Through further investment in research, development of infrastructure and implementation of technologies, 400,000 highly skilled jobs could be created by 2020, increasing to 700,000 by 2030 – up to 80% of which will be in rural areas.
With the report, the organisations intend to start a conversation and to raise the questions they encounter through efforts to implement circularity within their own operations and with their supply chain partners. The partners stress that the private sector can drive the uptake, re-use and recycling of renewable materials, but dialogue is needed to align research agendas and develop policy frameworks.
While maximising the use of renewable materials could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase innovation opportunities and economic growth, the full potential of renewable materials to contribute to achieving a low-carbon circular economy is not yet clearly understood, according to the report.
In reality, the current perception of the circular economy still under-rates the contribution of renewable materials. Yet, achieving an effective bioeconomy is critical to achieving an effective circular economy. Accordingly, the role of renewable materials in all aspect of the circular economy must be well understood to be fully deployed.
The full report can be viewed here.