Parliament to investigate case for circular economy


A Parliamentary committee is to look into the case for transforming waste and developing a circular economy.

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) will investigate the issues around and benefits of growing a circular economy as part of a new inquiry.


It will examine the potential value of resources contained in waste, the key domestic and international links and resources value chains and the environmental benefits of the circular economy (including design to reduce, reuse, repair/remanufacture and recycling or composting).

The inquiry will also look at the potential benefits of alternative business models including leasing and design for reuse as well as the barriers to circular business models.

It will also investigate how the Government can set the conditions needed for a circular economy. This will include:

  • What fiscal levers and policy support can Government provide to business to move towards circular models?
  • What regulatory barriers need to be removed to innovate and create new secondary resources and markets? What new information flows are needed?
  • How is Government supporting growth in this sector, including through BIS, UKTI and UK overseas aid?
  • How can Government support businesses to work together to ensure the value of resources are maximised over a product life?
  • What can Government do to encourage individuals to reuse and recycle rather than discard, for example through information and labelling? What should be the role of local authorities?
  • How is Government promoting the circular economy through its own procurement?

Written submissions to the inquiry are being invited by noon on 25 April 2014.

The chair of the Environmental Audit Committee is Joan Walley MP and members include Resources Minister Dan Rogerson and former Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman.