The Association of Plastic Recyclers

Envisioning a Circular Economy: The Journey of One Mid-Sized Midwestern City

The City of Ann Arbor has committed to a just and equitable transition to community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030. Our guiding plan, A2ZERO, outlines seven strategies and 44 actions that were chosen by the community to achieve this goal. One of the seven strategies is "Changing the Way We Use, Reuse, and Dispose of Materials", including the action: "move toward a circular economy".

Becoming circular requires collaboration and partnership, policy setting, program development, and education. This paper explores how the concept of the circular economy is discussed in the peer reviewed literature and in practitioner circles, exploring similarities and differences. Following this, we undertake a critical instance case study on the City of Ann Arbor's materials management programs and efforts towards achieving a more circular local economy. We conclude by offering pathways that Ann Arbor and other cities across the U.S. can pursue to advance a circular economy.

Read the full article from MDPI.

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