Support local low-impact circular economies - Knowledge Hub | Circle Economy Foundation
Support local low-impact circular economies

Increase efficiency and promote local economic growth by shortening supply chains and connecting local producers to consumers.

Consists of:

🍏 Organic urban and peri-urban agriculture

As cities have expanded, they have conventionally pushed space for agricultural activities to the peripheries and surrounding rural areas, and have become reliant on globalised supply chains. Cities can nevertheless have a home for organic urban and peri-urban agriculture. Organic urban and peri-urban agriculture refers to production of food that happens either in or near the city. It includes organic farming at any scale, and can also refer to small holders, various forms of private urban farming initiatives, and community initiatives (vegetable gardens). Organic urban and peri-urban agriculture can support food security in the city, boost biodiversity, as well as stimulate local economies and community participation. A local government may stimulate and enable organic urban and peri-urban agriculture by making spaces in and near the city available for markets, growing spaces and waste processing through spatial planning. Communities may be engaged through the use of making information and tooling available, alongside making spaces in neighbourhoods available and accessible to different people through spatial planning. Local governments can support local food services businesses in sourcing and obtaining locally grown organic crops.

πŸ‘•πŸ“± Local and sustainable producer ecosystem

Urban dwellers around the world have become increasingly reliant on the consumption of fast-moving consumer goods that are designed to be cheap to buy and easily disposable. There is, nevertheless, an opportunity to support the development of sustainable alternatives for a range of consumer goods, from packaging to cosmetics to clothing that use renewable and recovered materials. Local and sustainable producer ecosystems are networks of local entrepreneurs and initiatives that innovate sustainable products and services. These ecosystems could be established in physical locations, such as a maker-space, and can support the innovation of ideas and products that use locally sustainable and abundant materials (such as renewable or residual materials). Local governments can support the creation of local and sustainable producer ecosystems by providing rent-free access to the facilities and locations for entrepreneurs and initiatives that are developing circular economy innovations. Local governments can also engage in dialogue with participants of local spaces to understand and overcome the barriers towards a local circular economy, and could even connect initiatives with residual material streams.

πŸ‘•πŸ“± Reduce consumption of new consumer goods by local governments

Consumer goods are typically fast moving through the economy, meaning they are produced and disposed of in a short space of time. This has led to consumer goods being responsible for significant quantities of avoidable waste generation, often consisting of materials that cannot easily be recycled, and often end up polluting the environment. A local government can consume less goods in the first place, which allows the waste generated to be reduced significantly, and reduces environmental pollution. Many consumer goods can be made more durable, allowing for multiuse rather than continual procurement of new goods. One such example of ths is reusing uniforms used in some public sectors (e.g. police service), rather than unnecessarily procuring a new set for every new employee. Local governments can reduce their consumption of consumer goods in their city by creating awareness campaigns about overconsumption and the idea of β€˜doing more with less’, where appropriate. Local governments can also directly reduce their consumption by pursuing a green public procurement policy. This is a process in which a local government prioritises the procurement of goods and services with the lowest environmental impact. In many cases this yields the procurement of less goods by purchasing more durable alternatives or reusing existing resources.

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