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The Circular Economy: What It May Mean For Your Business

By Grimaldi Law Associate Jennifer Singh

The Circular Economy (CE) concept is a growing trend in sustainability that is gaining popularity worldwide in both the private and public sectors. The phrase describes the global effort made across all industries to reduce waste and redesign the way that finite resources are used to ensure that materials are kept in a loop of reusability for as long as possible. To achieve a CE that produces non-toxic and reliable recycled materials, its proponents maintain that prioritizing chemical standards plays a crucial role.

Although chemical legislation has not yet fully adapted to CE approaches, many companies are already implementing CE principles and going beyond state and federal legal requirements, some issuing their own list of prohibited substances. The growing number of CE conscious brands includes such industry giants as Google, Target, The Kroger Company, Walgreens, Procter & Gamble, Apple, Ikea, and H&M. In a recent survey, ING found that 62% of American companies now plan to move toward a CE while 16% already embrace CE.

The implication for businesses down the supply chain is the mounting need to consider not only state and federal obligations, but also their customers’ requirements, which may in fact be more stringent than regulatory obligations. To avoid alienating the more progressive CE companies, it may also mean suppliers having to adopt a more future-focused perspective and thinking differently about the materials used to manufacture products. Although policymakers will take time to catch up to CE goals, businesses are well advised to pay close attention to their customer compliance requirements, as well as early warnings of toxic properties in manufacturing materials.

Grimaldi Law Offices has been advising clients for over 20 years on chemical and product regulation. For knowledgeable advice and in-depth analysis on your chemical regulatory compliance obligations, contact Grimaldi Law Offices at (415) 463-5186 or email us at [email protected].


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Ms. Grimaldi maintains a diverse environmental law practice focusing on chemical and product regulation and litigation defense. Her practice areas include Proposition 65, California's Safer Consumer Products Regulations, California's Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act and the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. Ms. Grimaldi graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law magna cum laude and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bacteriology from University of California, Davis. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a research assistant in laboratories at the University of California, San Francisco Cancer Research Institute and at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.