There are many challenges here. Renewable energy is an important part of the solution because it eliminates generation of carbon dioxide waste from fossil fuels. Properly pricing natural resources will require substantial interventions as well as regulation to direct the use of resources on a global scale.11 However, the war in Ukraine has significantly increased investment in renewable energy providing an unexpected boost for efforts to create the foundations for circular processes.
At the same time, trials of circular processes are accelerating. Renault is currently fitting out Europe’s first dedicated circular economy factory for vehicles,12 Philips has begun a project to remanufacture used medical machinery so it can be resold as new,13 with the relevant performance and product guarantees and Dow has begun building chemical plants for turning used plastic into ethylene, which can be used to make virgin plastic again.14