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How can we help drive the shift to a circular economy?

Mary Walsh, Executive Scientist in the Sports and Sustainability Department, part of the Community , Culture and Placemaking Directorate at Cork City Council, talks about moving towards a Circular Economy
Mary Walsh, Executive Scientist in the Sports & Sustainability Department, part of the Community, Culture & Placemaking Directorate at Cork City Council.

THE term ‘circular economy’ is one that we have been hearing more and more about recently.

We might all have a different understanding of the concept, but we know that it represents a major shift in the way we produce and consume goods and services.

Essentially, in a circular economy the links between economic activity and resource use and waste generation are disrupted.

As a society, we are rapidly depleting the Earth’s natural resources. Our increased extraction and use of resources such as fossil fuels and minerals contributes to habitat destruction and global warming.

Worldwide, our consumption of materials has trebled from 26.7 billion tonnes in 1970 to an astonishing 92 billion tonnes in 2017. Half of total greenhouse gas emissions and more than 90% of biodiversity loss comes from resource extraction and processing. It is estimated that by 2050, we would need three planet earths to meet our requirements for natural resources if we continue with our current levels of consumption.

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