GSI Seminar - Exploring the inner loops of the circular economy: Citizen-led initiatives to tackle plastic waste and pollution in SW England

A Global Systems Institute seminar
Speaker(s)Dr Kerry Burton
Date21 October 2020
Time14:00 to 15:00
PlaceOnline event

In the last 50 years plastic has shifted from a miracle material to the focus of public contestation and policy intervention. The social and ecological impacts of plastic production, consumption, and disposal have entered debates around climate crisis, environmental justice, and ecological destruction. The circular economy is posed as a systems approach pathway to creating more sustainable relationships with plastic. The circular economy seeks to eliminate waste, through a shift away from linear extractive models (take, use, dispose) to closed loops systems that keep materials in circulation. The circular imaginary has been important in reconfiguring modes of consumption. However, the circular economy is also the focus of much critique. This seminar will contribute to these debates through perspectives from geography, economics, and psychology, and present insights from ongoing research into civil society action and circular practices - undertaken through the Exeter Multidisciplinary Plastics Research Hub (ExeMPlaR). I will discuss the motivations behind the rapid rise in plastic activism in the South West region and how citizen-led initiatives are confronting unsustainable resource use and consumption through the inner loops of sharing, repairing, and reuse

Kerry's research examines the role of civil society participation within natural resource management, environmental action, and sustainability transitions. Her PhD explored the alternative political, economic, and organisational spaces of international climate justice activism. Current research examines just transitions, community-led initiatives, sustainability practices, and alternative economic spaces. 



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