The circular economy aims to break the link between economic activity and using up the earth’s resources.
This may involve reusing, repairing, and sharing materials and products.
Amsterdam has become the first city in the world to trial the idea after announcing its intentions in 2020. Within seven years it hopes to have halved its use of new raw materials.
The fashion industry is one obvious candidate, where instead of consuming endless new raw materials, disposing of perfectly acceptable clothes, they are recycled.
The component parts of mobile phones, electronics and the raw materials used in construction are other obvious examples.
At the moment, committing to being part of a circular economy can be more costly than sourcing raw materials, but the hope is that as the movement goes this will change with obvious benefits to the environment and the planet.
It may take some state aid to kickstart the movement, particularly for start-up businesses.
However, if the idea becomes more widespread it is hoped that costs will come down and the resulting products will no longer be only for the richer end of the market.