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Let’s be social: how can circular economy interventions improve lives?

As part of the 2018 Circular Economy Hotspot in Glasgow, Dr Katherine Trebeck will be taking part in a discussion about the economics of a circular world. 

We look forward to hearing Dr Trebeck’s thoughts on making the economy work for all parts of society as well as for the planet. It’s something we’ve been thinking about here at Zero Waste Scotland too.

We are working to create a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted. But we know that in doing this, we also create social benefits such as improved self-esteem, employment opportunities and greater local community cohesion. These social benefits are incredibly valuable and we cannot report the true impact of all that we do without including them. In this short 'think piece' we consider the social benefits of our work, how we can demonstrate them and what we should do next to ensure that the circular economy improves society as a whole.

Moving to a circular economy can improve the quality of people’s lives - how we demonstrate our part in this is more difficult and we will continue to explore new ways to do this. It is time to put wellbeing at the forefront of what we do, including during planning and at the point of investment. Given this, it’s time to stop viewing social benefits as additional or incidental. They should be an integral part of our decision making, to ensure that we are proactively using circular economy interventions to improve lives. Zero Waste Scotland will continue to evolve our approach to put this important aspect of the circular economy at the centre of what we do.

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