Global circularity is on the decline: here’s how we can change this


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“There are really two ‘circularity gaps’: first, there’s the gap between our economy’s current level of circularity and our desired level of circularity, and second, there’s the gap between how widespread the circular economy concept is and how much it’s being applied,” says Ivonne Bojoh, CEO of Circle Economy Foundation, a research and consulting group that produces an annual Circularity Gap Report. “This is why our 2024 report is not just a report—it’s a call to action, a guide,” Ms Bojoh explains. “It’s a blueprint designed to reverse the declining trend of global circularity.”

Take a look around: the concept of the circular economy has reached megatrend status. It’s tagged onto products, increasingly appearing in policy and boasted of by businesses. Indeed, over the past five years the volume of discussions, debates and articles addressing this topic has almost tripled worldwide, reflecting a heightened awareness and interest in circularity.

Yet the success of circularity’s mainstream profile is deceptive. Circle Economy Foundation reports that global circularity is going in reverse, dropping from 9.1% to 7.2% in the past six years. This year, our foundation is taking the next steps to turn our theory into action: our 2024 report explores how to make a 180-degree turn on circularity—no matter where you are in the world.


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