What is the Circular Economy?

In a circular economy, all products and by-products recirculate back productively into the economy. One critical component of a circular economy is business-to- business materials reuse; matching wastes and under- valued resources across industries to find viable reuse options that retain and add value to materials above and beyond traditional waste disposal and recycling solutions. The result? A continuously evolving redesign of systems to establish higher value circular flows of materials.

video from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

IMG_0836 (1).JPG

A circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design, and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.


The Materials Marketplace: Big Picture

The Austin Materials Marketplace joins an international network of Materials Marketplace projects across the globe, including the Ohio and Tennessee Materials Marketplaces, US Materials Marketplace, and the Turkey Materials Marketplace. Hundreds of companies - large and small, community organizations, academic institutions and government entities are engaged.


Joining the program connects you to a tremendous resource for sustainable materials management. Over 20 years the US BCSD has built up an extensive network of businesses, knowledge base of reuse case studies, and experience to overcome barriers when making matches and facilitating transactions.

Circular Economy in the News

Leading companies are using the Materials Marketplace to rethink supply chains and to reach aggressive carbon reduction goals.


Circular Economy Resources

For those looking to get more engaged in the broader Circular Economy dialogue - there is a wide range of resource and organizations we recommend checking out.


Local Activities and Organizations

  • Austin Resource Recovery
    • Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Our goal is to reach Zero Waste by 2040, which means reducing the amount of trash sent to landfills by 90 percent.
  • Austin Recycling Economic Development Program
    • The mission of the Recycling Economic Development Program is to attract, retain, and grow zero waste businesses and entrepreneurs in order to create local jobs and foster a resilient zero waste ecosystem in Central Texas.
  • [Re]verse Pitch Competition
    • The [Re]Verse Pitch Competition is a social innovation program to help turn valuable raw materials that are currently leaving local businesses, non-profits, and institutions as waste into the foundation of new social enterprises.



US Activities and Organizations

  • The Materials Marketplace in other US regions
    • Learn about other Materials Marketplace activities underway other US cities and states.
  • US Chamber of Commerce Foundation
    • The USCCF has created a number of case study reports, and a circular economy toolbox for businesses.
  • Remade Institute
    • DOE funded program focusing on early stage applied research towards innovations that could dramatically reduce the energy required to manufacture key materials and improve overall manufacturing energy efficiency through increased material reuse, recycling, and remanufacturing.
  • ReFED
    • A data-driven resource for businesses, government, funders, and nonprofits to collectively reduce food waste at scale.

International Activities and Organizations

  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    • The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works to inspire a generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future circular economy.

  • World Economic Forum
    • The leading international organization for public-private cooperation.
  • World Wildlife Fund
    • The WWF's Cascading Materials Vision is a common framework of guiding principles for industry and other stakeholders that will help businesses source secondary materials that protect their profits, the environment and future wealth of our natural resources.