The need and the opportunity to transition to a circular economy—an economic model that is restorative and regenerative by design—have become clear to many industries over the last 5 years. Companies like Apple and Google are innovating or redesigning their products and services to minimize resources utilized in production and to promote reuse and recycling of their products. The scale of these efforts, however, is often constrained by barriers in the supply chain and ecosystem. For example, creating a product that is more easily recycled will do little to reduce environmental impact in the absence of recycling infrastructure or consumer awareness. Without collaborative action across sectors and across supply chains, these nascent efforts will fail to meet their full potential.
From self-healing phone screens to concrete that repairs itself, businesses are investing in futuristic materials. But can it curb our throwaway habits?