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The #1 Circular Economy Podcast

Getting in the Loop is a circular economy podcast for circular economy pioneers dedicated to exploring how to transform to a more circular society.

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What is the circular economy?

Learn more and save time with our free presentation slide deck which covers circular economy basics and more.
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Questions from podcast listeners and other circular economy FAQs

What books on circular economy would you recommend?

We polled our Getting in the Loop podcast listeners and they recommended the following books to help get a good baseline understanding about circular economy. Bonus: almost all of these authors have been featured on the Getting in the Loop podcast. Be sure to listen to their episodes! Disclosure: The following links are affiliate links, meaning we'll get commissions for purchases made through links. This is at no extra cost to you, and we only share books we we've read and have been recommended by Getting in the Loop listeners.

How does this podcast teach me about circular economy?

This circular economy podcast features interviews with circular economy pioneers. This means you’ll learn directly from leading circular economy experts from across the globe. Previous guests include award-winning designer Dr. Leyla Acaroglu, Performance Economy founding father Walter Stahel, and Circular Economy Club founder Anna Tari. New episodes of the Getting in the Loop podcast are released every 2 weeks so you can stay up to date with what’s developing in the field of circular economy and meet inspiring circular economy experts on a monthly basis. You will also learn about upcoming circular economy events, conferences, and workshops.

Each Getting in the Loop episode focuses on a specific topic such as an entrepreneur who has founded a company on circular economy principles or what big companies are doing to meet future resource demands. In addition to guest interviews, host Dr. Katherine (Katie) Whalen occasionally creates ‘solo-casts’ to share her expertise on circular business model innovation and communicating circularity. Learn more about Katie here. With over 60 episodes, we’re sure you’ll be sure to find something that peaks your interest!

What kinds of circular economy topics do you talk about on the Getting in the Loop podcast?

Anything related to circular economy is fair game. Most guests share their experiences in relation to business. This can mean challenges that companies have encountered when trying to transition to a new circular model focused on circular principles including refurbishment, repair, and remanufacturing. Enablers for the circular transition are also a common focus point. This ranges from how to approach circular business model innovation; design products for circular business models and prolong product usage; create new materials for circular economy including biomaterials and packaging materials; and set-up product return and recycling systems. You can find some of our most popular episodes here.

Listening’s not my thing - where can I read about circular economy?

Take a look at our free circular economy resources, including the Circular Sectors Navigator. The Circular Sectors Navigator is an e-book designed to help you navigate the seemingly endless amount of circular economy knowledge - without the overwhelm!  Download the Circular Sectors Navigator and discover key circular economy trends related to: Textiles & Apparel, ICT & Electronics, and Packaging & Plastics. The e-book also contains links to related resources and publications so you can keep learning.

What is the circular economy?

Great question! In short, circular economy aims to decouple resource consumption from economic growth. Currently we operate in a ‘linear economy’ where materials are extracted, consumed, and discarded. Society’s demand for natural resources is increasing; but at the same time, we are wasting these precious resources often using them only once. Over 2 billion tonnes of waste are generated globally each year, with this number expected to increase by 70% by 2050. Circular economy aims to move away from this linear economy by keep materials in use for as long as possible. The European Commission Action Plan defines a circular system as “In a Circular Economy, the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste is minimised.”

 What are the principles of circular economy?

There are three main circular principles: 1) Design out waste, 2) Preserve product and material value and 3) Mirror regenerative, natural systems. Let’s briefly go through each circular economy principle. So, what does it mean to ‘Design out waste’? In a circular economy, waste is viewed as a design flaw and should ideally not exist. Circular systems should be designed so that what is one creatures’ waste is food for another. The second principle - Preserve product and material value’ - means that products and materials should be kept in use for as long as possible. To do this, a number of things can be done including performing product maintenance and repair to enable longer periods of product use, reusing products such as through second-hand sales, and recycling products to recover their materials and reuse them. The third principle - ‘Mirror regenerative, natural systems’ - means that circular economy draws inspiration from nature. Renewable resources should be used as much as possible – such as the sun providing energy – and nonrenewable resources should be used in ways they are able to be recovered and reused.

Is circular economy the same as sustainability?

Another great question! Sustainability often focuses on how to make things like products less bad for the environment. This could be by reducing the number of materials needed in a product, making products more energy efficient, making products with some amount of recycled content, you get the picture. It mainly comes down to incremental improvements. Circular economy, on the other hand, isn’t about making products a little less bad. At its core, circular economy is about redesigning how we do things on a whole other level – a systems-level. Designing products to be used not just once, but again and again and again. You might also enjoy listening to this Getting in the Loop podcast episode that touches more on the differences between sustainability and circular economy.

 I’m not a sustainability professional - is circular economy still relevant for me?

Yes! Circular economy is about creating a future where economic growth is decoupled from resource consumption – but most of all, it’s about systems change. It’s about rethinking how we do things. And to make this happen, we need many different types of people to come together. We need all types of experts from various disciplines including supply chain experts, material scientists, business developers, marketers, product designers, and economics.

How can I learn more about circular economy?

Listen to the Getting in the Loop podcast? No, but in all seriousness. There are a number of free educational courses on circular economy you can take including the online course Circular Economy – Sustainable Materials Management. You can also join our Getting in the Loop LinkedIn group to connect with other circular economy podcast listeners.

Help! I need to teach others about circular economy. What do I do?

If you’re looking for hands-on circular economy communication tools, you might enjoy the latest game from In the Loop Games: In the Loop: Circular Business Deck. The Circular Business Deck is the follow-up to the (sold-out!) In the Loop Board Game and is based on Katie’s PhD research on circular business models. Each card in the Circular Business Deck contains a circular business strategy, explanation, and practical example. You can also use the Circular Business Deck as a brainstorm tool by mixing and matching circular strategies to spark new ideas.

I’m a circular economy expert - how can I be interviewed on the Getting in the Loop podcast?

Thanks for your interest and glad to hear you’re also working towards creating a more resource-efficient and sustainable future. You are welcome to nominate yourself or someone else to be a guest on the Getting in the Loop podcast using this submission form.