The pressure on resource productivity is reaching a breaking point. A number of enablers are now also creating unique opportunities to adopt more resource-efficient approaches to value creation. The need for action and ability to act have never been better aligned.
An essential motive for adopting the circular economy as outlined in the previous chapter is the opportunities to benefit from arbitrage—by better harnessing the value of materials, labour, energy and capital embedded in products after the end of each cycle of use than what is possible with conventional manufactured products, which are not designed for reverse cycles. The attractiveness of these circular models rises if resource prices are likely to remain high or even increase, and if the costs of establishing the necessary reverse cycle networks decline. These two conditions are very much in place, as this chapter will show, suggesting that the time to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy at scale is now.