Welcome to the April issue of Materials World

The most recent global circularity rate stands at 7.2%, down from 9.1% in 2018, according to the 2023 Circularity gap report produced by the Circle Economy Foundation.

This is despite positive reception across all areas of the economy for this ‘technology-focused concept’, notes Dr Christopher Pilgrim of Innovate UK Business Connect in his article Tightening loose ends.

Pilgrim continues, ‘The real challenge with the adoption of a circular economy is therefore not in technical innovation but in changing mindsets...This will have a profound effect on how the materials supply chains operate.’

Three focus areas he examines are design, recovery and business models. Pilgrim, like many of our authors, cites legislation such as Extended Producer Responsibility as having an impact.

In our opinion piece Making the world go round, the authors describe how traditionally ‘manufacturers pass off responsibility to the consumer at the point of sale, and consumers pass off responsibility after consumption.

However, in a circular economy, manufacturers retain greater responsibility for their products throughout its lifecycle and therefore take a more proactive role in reducing waste.’

Our contributors this issue examine a myriad of ways to take back this responsibility.

We hope you enjoy this issue.