At first glance, a new recyclable plastic may seem like an ideal circular option. But what if recycling costs a lot of energy, depends upon the use of additional chemicals, requires long waste transportation distances, or through poor design is difficult to recycle? According to circular economy expert Dr. Blanca Corona, the metrics we currently use to measure circularity are not nearly comprehensive enough and risk the burden shifting. So what can we do about it?
Dr. Blanca Corona is an assistant professor at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University. In this interview she reflects on her early work assessing the sustainability of innovative renewable energy technologies, and explains how in her future work she plans to draw on her design background to develop comprehensive sustainability metrics that incorporate human behaviour, ensuring real progress in the circular economy.