Waste Dive featured UMaine research on circular economy

Waste Dive featured research from the University of Maine about the circular economy may be overlooking environmental justice. The researchers conducted a study where they documented language used in about two dozen circular economy reports from 2018 through 2020 to get a better understanding of how the plans discussed concepts of justice. They also conducted focus groups with stakeholders whose work involves the circular design of products, packaging or infrastructure. The researchers found that many of the reports argue the circular economy can address social or environmental justice issues through job creation or other economic solutions, but many do not acknowledge longstanding racial, economic and social inequalities in U.S. society that may enable or perpetuate those issues. Study authors Cindy Isenhour, associate professor of anthropology and climate change, and Michael Haedicke, associate professor of sociology, conducted a Q&A with Waste Dive about their research.