Prospects for the Circular Economy

Conveners: Saleem Ali


The emerging paradigm of a “circular economy” presents an opportunity for win-win outcomes from resource usage while creating livelihoods in the service sector for retrieval, remanufacturing, reuse and recycling of resources. However, how we move from linear to circular supply chains? Whether demand for these new resources can be met with current sources of secondary supply remains contested. How might we transition from a linear to a circular economic system for raw materials while keeping our eye on ultimate sustainability outcomes?.


This session examined some of the big questions and if mining has a place in achieving a circular economy: 

  • Durable products and diminished recycling stocks? How do we optimise the life cycle of products?

  • Jevons Paradox - efficiency leading to greater consumption? How can we address this challenge and what does it mean for raw materials production?

  • Product take-back and modularity of products as the answer to the problem?

  • Industrial symbiosis and eco-industrial parks - a new paradigm for resource efficiency?