Alice Bodreau, strategic partners manager for Europe at the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, joins Mitch Ratcliffe to discuss the new Circular Economy Glossary. She led the development of the glossary in partnership with IKEA to help provide a common language for different industries to explore and activate the circular economy. We wanted to learn more about their approach to building circular systems and future efforts to extend the reference for wider application. Alice also explains how the Ellen Macarthur Foundation educational programs help to grow the community of companies, governments, and nonprofits needed to kickstart circular economies for many materials.
The U.S. recycling system is a living example of the consequences of having no shared framework for collaboration. Our recycling system is a complex mix of local, state, federal, private, and nonprofit organizations that has been knitted together over the past 70 years. It’s no exaggeration to say that those organizations have difficulty communicating clearly, as recycling processes and rules vary by city, ZIP code, or the coverage area of the hauler that picks up your recycling. The result is a U.S. recycling rate in the low 30% range in contrast to Europe’s 48% overall recycling rate. With a common language, we may accelerate the emergence of the circular economy. You can learn more about the Ellen Macarthur Foundation at ellenmacarthurfoundation.org.