We have reached a new normal of increased awareness of the real value of natural resources and raw materials – whatever their actual physical price. The circular economy has emerged in recognition of this; it is an economy where everything is reused and waste becomes a resource – in this sense it is the antithesis of the throwaway culture. It has been estimated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that it could be worth US$2 trillion to the global economy – equivalent to the size of the Italian or Russian economies. Companies can benefit from the circular economy by cutting costs and reducing risk by securing their supplies of raw materials – it also helps in building a good reputation among end consumers.
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