The NI Women’s Policy Group believes that a Circular Economy Strategy for NI is essential, but that the approach outlined by the Department for Economy is one that will not be sufficient to meet the goals we need to meet. We need to move beyond an approach that centres economic growth, to take into account the gendered impacts of the Strategy and to centre the caring economy as well as manufacturing and agriculture.
Being continually mindful of developments and research in the area and global policy shifts that may have a beneficial impact, especially in light of the speed of research and development in the area. Also policy makers must be mindful that:
“Secondary resources shall only complement the growing extraction of primary resources, while the responsibility for circularity is handed over from the state to individuals and entrepreneurs. A weak circularity excludes social responsibility and tends to reinforce unequal power relations. With a strong conceptualization of circularity, on the other hand, the producers and the state are responsible for creating a closed, material loop limited in size and space, based on the principle of fair distribution of resources.”
We urge careful engagement with the Community and Voluntary sectors throughout this process, a brave approach that is ambitious and wide-ranging, and one that centres the well-being of communities above economic performance.
This is an excerpt from the WPG Consultation Response which you can read in full here.
 Johansson, N. and Henriksson, M. (2020). Circular economy running in circles? A discourse analysis of shifts in ideas of circularity in Swedish environmental policy. Sustainable Production and Consumption, [online] 23, pp.148–156. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352550920300464 [Accessed 25 Mar. 2021].