One in five chemical companies say cost is main barrier to adopting circular economy, according to poll

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1st July 2020 11:57 - Chemicals

One in five chemical companies say cost is main barrier to adopting circular economy: A survey of chemicals and materials companies has found that cost is the main barrier to adopting a circular economy - although more than eight in ten companies polled (81%) said they are beginning to explore the principles. 

The research by Elsevier polled 182 respondents working in Chemicals and Materials companies, and found that although there is clearly an interest, 57% of respondents said that under a quarter of their products are designed with circular economy principles in mind, however, 61% said that by the end of the decade (2030) they believe half the products will be designed in this way. 

More than two-fifths (43%) of those polled said that consumer and regulatory pressure was a leading driver for companies looking to move towards adopting circular economy principles.

Barriers to change

After cost (19%), other barriers to change included cultural resistance to change (13%) as well as low investment in R&D (13%).

When it comes to green chemistry and phasing out toxic and dangerous materials, respondents were asked about the drivers, with more than a quarter identifying the safety of staff (27%), as well as the safety of people using the end product (26%), improvements in regulatory compliance (25%) and a reduction in the environmental impact (22%).

Nina Kaun, Director of Product Management at Elsevier, said of the research:

“The circular economy is no longer optional for businesses, it’s crucial in the fight against climate change and the move towards a greener, cleaner economy.”

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