Southend-on-Sea City Council held a workshop earlier this month attended by over 25 council officers, to discuss how the city will benefit from moving towards a ‘circular economy’.
A circular economy is the complete opposite of our throwaway society. Resources are reused, repurposed and given new life. It can also help all of us withstand spiralling costs as we make more out of items we already own.
The workshop looked at the opportunities and barriers to improving the council’s efficient use of its resources throughout its services and will feed into the council’s local plans and strategies and ensure they are centred around circular economy principles.
Jo Gay, head of climate change at the council, said: “To achieve our goal of being carbon neutral by 2030, the city needs to move away from a linear ‘take, make, consume and throw-away society’, towards one that minimises its environmental impact.
“Becoming a city based on circular economy principles represents an opportunity for us to be environmentally pro-active as well as financially competitive and build resilience.
“Promoting circularity has so much potential and can bring multiple economic benefits. Working with local businesses and the waste sector means we can look to repurpose tonnes of waste, create the provision of refill and repair services as well as growing the number of businesses that provide sharing, renting or leasing of products instead of buying new – like children’s clothing rental services or electric car subscriptions.”
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture and tourism, added: “The cost-of-living crisis is taking its toll, and that is of course a priority, so too is the need to tackle the climate crisis and green measures can be a really good way to both save money and give the economy a kick start.
“Going circular will help us all to reduce both costs and environmental impacts. Going green isn’t an optional extra, its fundamental to easing the cost-of-living pressures and driving sustainable economic growth. Going green is great, going circular will make it an all round success.”
The council is already working on successful recycling initiatives such as the PlastiCity Pledge, which is designed to easily and quickly guide organisations to become more sustainable, fit for future regulation and to increase plastic recycling in Southend’s schools and businesses.
To register your interest in the pledge, and to find out more about the PlastiCity Project and other council climate action projects, please visit the Southend Climate Action website.