How to build a circular economy

Ilford market_Interrobang

Petra Marko asks whether we can get to a place of ‘good growth’

This summer the National Infrastructure Commission’s Young Professionals Panel launched #infracafé, a series of events to unpick infrastructure and what it means for our day-to-day lives. We want to engage younger generations in thinking about how infrastructure can improve to reflect our changing needs and respond to the climate emergency.

I chaired an #infracafé at the King’s Cross Skip Garden, a community project where everything is built using recycled materials. This was a perfect setting for our theme, the circular economy and how we can make the most of our resources and minimise waste.

Over the past few years we have been flooded with images of plastic in the sea and the devastating impact this has had on the Earth’s natural habitat. As consumers we have limited choices because most food is packaged in excessive plastic. Yet the evidence that top-down policies can make a difference quickly is there. For example, single-use plastic bag sales in England’s big seven supermarkets have fallen by 86% since the 5p charge was introduced in 2015 (source:

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