Circular Economy

Humans are using up our planet’s resources quicker than it can replenish. Globally, we use almost twice the amount of resources that our planet can renew in a year. In the UK, the average person uses more than three times their share of the world's resources.We each work through 24 tonnes of crops, trees, minerals and fossil fuels a year. Before the 1970s, resource usage remained within the boundaries of what our planet could produce.


Since then it has spiralled due to consumerism and throwaway attitudes. Oxfordshire already recycles or composts 58% of our waste, with the majority of the residual waste processed through the Ardley energy recovery facility. By 2050 Oxfordshire as a society must reduce waste levels at source and recycle 100% of unavoidable waste.

Unhelpful Business Models

What if…The majority of unwanted things were upcycled or reused by others in Oxfordshire? What could this look like? Could local businesses be supported to create circular business models by the council and local citizens?

A bit like…
For Days, USA.  Launched in May 2018, clever subscription service and product design means their organic cotton t-shirts can be returned and upcycled into new ones when customers are ready for a change. Rather than buying new.  

Underutilised Things

What if…We all shared more among communities and businesses?  What could this look like? Could similar businesses share resources to cut down on equipment and maintenance needs?

A bit like…Library of Things, London. On a mission to make borrowing better than buying. It gives communities access to a wide range of things, from carpet cleaners to projectors, for a daily fee. Affordable and convenient for borrowers, and better for our planet.

Broken Recycling

What if…Oxfordshire created businesses and jobs based around the value of waste?  What could this look like?  Could the council be restricted from buying new things? Perhaps all new buildings must be made with a high proportion of recycled material?

A bit like…Heriot-Watt, Scotland. Researchers at the Scottish university have created K-Briq - the first brick to be created from 90 % construction waste. This reduces the volume of waste going to landfills and produces fewer CO2 emissions

Share your ideas!

Use the form below to share your ideas with us and the community. You can send us a video, upload a document or just write some text, whatever works for you.

As the project progresses we'll be sharing some ideas here on the website to further stimulate the discussion. We'll keep your name and email address confidential and we'll add you to the mailing list but you can unsubscribe any time.

By submitting your ideas you're agreeing to our terms and conditions and privacy notice.

We're looking forward to hearing positive, game changing ideas that will shape our county!

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