Skip to content
Leaf icon

Circular economy

Circular Economy

What is the Circular Economy?

A circular economy is one in which stuff is kept in use for as long as possible, delivering the highest value it can, for as long as it can. So rather than making, using and then throwing stuff away (a linear system), a circular economy means looking at each of those stages for new ways of cycling materials and value back into the system – using materials and products again and again, in many different forms.

For example,

  • designing products for multiple uses for easy repair and maintenance
  • recovering materials at the end of their first life and prepare them for successful second (or third, or fourth) lives
  • or enable people to share products and space, minimising wasted resources

Islington's Circular Economy Action Plan

Islington has published its first Circular Economy Action Plan, setting out how it aims to move Islington towards a more circular economy. You can view our Plan under ‘useful documents’ at the bottom of this page.

Why do we need a Circular Economy?

Islington Council has committed to a Net Zero Carbon target by 2030.

45% of global CO2e emissions arise from the manufacture, consumption and disposal of products and materials, through the management of land and the production of food and goods (so-called ‘consumption-based emissions’). A radical shift to a low carbon circular economy will help reduce these consumption-based emissions.

Our Vision 2030: Building a Net Zero Carbon Islington by 2030 and our Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan 2018-2022 commit us to developing a Circular Economy Action Plan.

What is Islington Council already doing?

Islington is already moving towards being more circular. Here’s a few examples:

  • Our new draft Local Plan will require major developments to be more circular in design, allowing them to be used for longer and be refitted at the end of their life instead of just demolished.
  • We lease our office printers instead of buying, so it’s in the provider’s interest to repair them and maximise their operating life and then take responsibility for recycling them when they’re eventually replaced.
  • We’ve opened a ‘library of things’, where residents can rent things like drills and jet washers for a small fee, instead of everybody buying their own.
  • The plastic bottles collected in Islington are recycled into new plastic bottles in the UK, so they can be recycled again and again.
  • We’ve launched a grant scheme for small businesses in Islington to develop circular economy practices.

But there’s lots more the council, businesses and residents can do and we’d love to have your ideas.

Please email us at

Was this information helpful?

Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.