In July 2017, Paris rolled out its "Circular Economy Plan": a concrete 15 point roadmap to 2020.
In 2050, cities will be home to 65% of the world's population - bringing with them the major economic and ecological challenges of our time. They need to take up the challenge of sustainability now – the circular economy offers a concrete solution. It is based on using resources in a loop to give waste a second life.
Among the cities already committed to the circular economy Paris is a pioneer. In recent years, the French capital has encouraged businesses, shops and citizens to adopt more circular practices.
It began in 2015 with the organization of the circular economy summit meetings, which helped take stock and determine the priorities for transforming Paris. Two years later, the “Circular Economy Plan", presented on 3 July 2017, set a concrete roadmap with fifteen actions to be implemented by 2020. These actions fall under five main headings:
- Development and construction. The building industry is one of those that generate the most waste and consume the most natural resources. The aim is to lay the foundations for a new model of sustainable and circular construction in Paris. The city has around 10 pilot sites where all the materials must be reused: deconstruction will therefore replace demolition.
- Reuse, reuse and repair. The aim is to strengthen the service offerings that extend the lifespan of objects and so combat planned obsolescence: repair shops, recycling centers, and the Maison du Zéro Déchet, which opened in the 18th arrondissement this summer.
- Support for local actors. Paris supports actors that drive the city’s circular transformation. Leading the way is the Paris & Co circular economy incubator, which hosted its first start-up class in June 2017.
- New consumption patterns. The aim is to promote new forms of sustainable consumption such as bulk purchasing and cooperative supermarkets. The city also wants to expand its plan to fight food waste, in particular through charters in canteens and calls for projects to transform unsold food.
- Public procurement. Paris is changing its public procurement selection criteria (worth 1.6 billion euros per year) to encourage environmentally friendly companies. For example, by 2020, the city will only buy paper made from recycled fiber.
A second roadmap setting fifteen additional actions should follow in 2018-19.
With this ambitious plan, Paris is encouraging the development of the circular economy on a large-scale. The idea is to catalyze and facilitate the action of all those involved in the city’s ecosystem. Doors then open, entrepreneurs put their ideas into practice and things start happening - helping to make the French capital one of the world’s trailblazing circular metropolises. A virtuous circle for Paris!