Sirpa Pietikainen is leading advocate for the EU bioeconomy and Rapporteur on the EP’s Own Initiative Report on the Circular Economy. “Even several manufacturers realized that an inefficient or unsustainable use of resources generates waste and costs where efficiency and profits could be achieved. We have to ensure growing benefits for consumers and competitiveness using only one tenth of the materials currently used.”
There has been an overwhelming interest in the circular economy, from industry to NGOs to member state officials – why do you think this is?
I think it’s because many people, from a broad range of sectors, see that developing a circular economy involves a true paradigm shift. If you’re on a journey and you set off in the wrong direction, you can’t correct it by simply speeding up a bit. Business as usual, but a bit faster, won’t work. What’s needed is a complete re-think of our economic model. In this case, as we know, it means a departure from the linear production, consumption, disposal towards designing a circular future. At the same time, whilst becoming more sustainable, we need to ensure increasing consumer benefits and competitiveness whilst using only one tenth of the resources that we currently consume.