Circular economy jobs boost
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Establishing a circular economy could create up to 500,000 jobs in Britain over the next 15 years, says Wrap and the Green Alliance.
The organisations outline in a report the labour market outcomes from improving the economy's resource efficiency, based on three scenarios.
The first involves no new initiatives, while the second envisages a continuation on the current trajectory, with significant further increases in recycling and remanufacturing.
The third consists of making substantial progress in recycling and remanufacturing, but also major development of the reuse, servitisation and biorefining sectors.
The number of jobs created, and the potential impact for the resource management industry to offset declining employment levels in other sectors, varies between the three scenarios. Under the first, around 31,000 jobs would be created and cut unemployment levels by about 10,000. The second could generate 205,000 jobs and reduce unemployment by about 54,000, says the report. Scenario three has a much bigger potential impact, creating more than half a million jobs and reducing unemployment by around 102,000.
Matthew Spencer, director at the Green Alliance, said policymakers would need to set higher standards for product and resource recovery if jobs are to be created on the scale forecast. "The biggest opportunity to do that is in the EU circular economy package which is being renegotiated this year, but the UK will have to become an active champion of higher ambition," he said.
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