13.11.18

The growing influence of the circular economy in New Zealand

SBN’s work on the circular economy has given New Zealand pioneers global exposure, and is tackling the issue of plastic packaging.

Two SBN member companies are currently featured in the worldwide online Disruptive Innovation Festival. The DiF is curated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a global leader in circular economy thinking. Our 10 minute video was produced in partnership with Wishbone Design Studio and The Module Project. The film explores how they are using circular economy thinking to disrupt their markets.

Wishbone Design Studio has created a unique range of modular bikes for early childhood. They are made to be home repaired, to grow with your child and be handed on to the next generation. The Module Project is a consumer electronics start-up. Module’s aim is to create attractive, long lasting products than can be easily upgraded. The first of these is Decibel, a modular, home upgradable mobile wireless speaker designed to last a lifetime.

Meanwhile, SBN’s Circular Economy Accelerator (CEA) is about to publish an initial diagnostics report into New Zealand’s plastic packaging system. Supported by 10 major New Zealand businesses, this provides an overview of how plastic packaging is produced and used in the country. It charts pathways towards the creation of a circular economy for plastic packaging in New Zealand by 2025. Look out for it in the next newsletter.

Next the CEA will be assisting companies to make the necessary changes in their business and beyond. We have developed a Circular Innovation and Collaboration Programme for Plastic Packaging. It will accelerate fundamental packaging redesign and innovation while establishing and scaling reuse models. It will also contribute to recycling with radically improved economics and quality.

We also recently hosted a brief visit from Clare Mucklow, Communications Manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. This was a valuable chance to share expertise and perspectives on this worldwide movement.

James Griffin heads the Circular Economy Accelerator.

“What’s emerging is that New Zealand has an amazing opportunity to take a pioneering role in the development of the circular economy. The problems we are tackling are global. The solutions we are developing here can also go worldwide. There is clearly a lot of momentum building among some of New Zealand’s top businesses to make that happen.”

The first companies are already signing up, so contact james@sustainable.org.nz to find out more.