Committee launches new inquiry: Growing a circular economy

18 March 2014

In recent years, there has been a growing discussion of resource efficiency, the ‘circular economy’ and the economic and environmental benefits of maximising the value of resources beyond the life of a product.

Terms of reference

The EAC inquiry will examine:
The case for transforming the approach to waste, and growing a ‘circular economy’

  • The potential economic value of resources contained in ‘waste’
  • The key domestic and international links and resource value chains
  • The environmental benefits of the circular economy (including design to reduce, re-use, repair/ remanufacture and recycling or composting)
  • The potential benefits of alternative business models, including leasing and design for re-use
  • The barriers to ‘circular’ business models

How Government can set the conditions needed for a circular economy

  • What fiscal levers and policy support can Government provide to business to move towards ‘circular’ models?
  •  What regulatory barriers need to be removed to innovate and create new secondary resources and markets? What new information flows are needed?
  • How is Government supporting growth in this sector, including through BIS, UKTI, and UK overseas aid?
  • How can Government support businesses to work together to ensure the value of resources are maximised over a product life?
  • What can Government do to encourage individuals to re-use and recycle rather than discard (‘do the right thing’), for example through information and labelling? What should be the role of local authorities?
  • How is Government promoting the circular economy through its own procurement?

Submitting written evidence

As part of a scheme to encourage paperless working and maximise efficiency, the Committee is piloting a new web portal for online submission of written evidence. Written submissions for this inquiry should therefore be sent online.

The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing. The Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act. We may also ask you to comment on the process of submitting evidence via the web portal so that we can look to make improvements. If you have any queries or concerns about the collection and use of this information or do not wish your details to be used for the purpose of collecting feedback, please email the Committee providing your full name, address, and if relevant your organisation.

The Committee invites written submissions on these issues by midday on Friday 25 April 2014.

Each submission should:

  1. be no more than 3,000 words in length
  2. be in Word format with as little use logos as possible
  3. have numbered paragraphs
  4. include a declaration of interests.

Please note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
  • Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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