The Importance of Inclusive Circular Economy Initiatives

Alfred Tang

Hatched by Alfred Tang

Jan 28, 2024

3 min read


The Importance of Inclusive Circular Economy Initiatives


Circularity, the concept of reducing waste and maximizing resource efficiency, has become a crucial topic in today's world. As we strive to find sustainable solutions to our environmental challenges, it is essential to recognize that circularity cannot be an exclusive club. In this article, we will explore the reasons why inclusivity is vital in driving circular economy initiatives and how companies can play a significant role in implementing solutions at scale.

Incremental Progress Matters:

While it may be tempting to dismiss incremental improvements as mere greenwashing, it is essential to acknowledge that any progress towards circularity is a step in the right direction. For example, a company that improves the recyclability of its plastic bottles by changing from green tinted to clear PET might not be revolutionizing the industry, but it is still making a positive impact. These small steps add up over time and contribute to the larger goal of achieving a circular economy. Therefore, it is crucial not to underestimate the significance of incremental progress.

The Paradox of Corporate Responsibility:

It is undeniable that some corporations are part of the problem when it comes to environmental issues. However, it is equally important to recognize that these same companies can also be key players in implementing solutions at scale. By involving corporations in critical conversations about circularity, we can harness their resources, innovation, and influence to drive real change. Excluding them from these discussions would hinder progress and limit the potential for transformative solutions. It is essential to strike a balance and hold corporations accountable while also recognizing their potential to make a positive impact.

The Role of Reporting and Accountability:

Transparency and accountability are crucial for achieving a truly inclusive circular economy. The NEA Mandatory Packaging Reporting Guidebook highlights the importance of reporting by customers who are producers themselves. This means that companies should not only focus on their internal efforts but also encourage their customers to report on packaging waste. By broadening the scope of reporting obligations, we can ensure that all stakeholders are actively involved in promoting circularity. Company A, for instance, would be obligated to report if they are producers themselves, reflecting the need for collective responsibility.

Connecting the Dots:

To foster inclusivity in circular economy initiatives, it is essential to connect the common points between various stakeholders. Governments, NGOs, corporations, and consumers must work hand in hand to drive change. Collaboration and knowledge-sharing are key to addressing the complex challenges we face. By fostering partnerships and creating platforms for dialogue, we can leverage the unique ideas and insights of each stakeholder group to create innovative, sustainable solutions.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster Collaboration: Encourage partnerships between different stakeholders to leverage their collective expertise and resources. By working together, we can find comprehensive solutions that address the complexities of circularity.
  • 2. Promote Transparency: Emphasize the importance of reporting and accountability across the entire value chain. Encourage companies to not only report their own efforts but also engage customers and suppliers in reporting on packaging waste.
  • 3. Educate and Engage Consumers: Raise awareness among consumers about the benefits of a circular economy and the role they can play. Encourage responsible consumption and support initiatives that promote recycling and resource conservation.


Inclusivity is the key to driving effective circular economy initiatives. By recognizing the value of incremental progress, involving corporations as part of the solution, promoting reporting and accountability, and fostering collaboration between stakeholders, we can create a sustainable future for generations to come. Let us embrace inclusivity and work together towards a circular economy that leaves no one behind.

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