Since July 2023, the uvex safety group has been part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Community, which advocates for a circular economy, particularly when it comes to plastics. Thanks to its global network of members, which includes influential companies, governmental representatives and experts, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a powerful voice calling for greater sustainability via the circular economy worldwide.

What does the Ellen MacArthur Foundation aim to do?

The non-governmental organisation (NGO) was founded in 2010 by the British sailor Ellen MacArthur, who became aware of the amount of plastic pollution in the oceans during her voyages around the world. In collaboration with various companies, researchers and governments, the organisation works to find innovative ways to use resources sustainably.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation primarily advocates for a circular economy, a term used to describe how material streams operate. With the “New Plastics Economy” initiative, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is focusing on promoting a circular economy approach to using plastics. A number of the world’s largest packaging manufacturers, NGOs, governmental representatives, brands, retailers and packaging suppliers have already committed to the following:

  • eliminating unnecessary plastics
  • finding innovative ways of making plastics reusable – i.e. processing them ready for recycling or composting.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

What is a circular economy and how does it differ from a linear economy?

The term “circular economy” refers to the approach whereby resources and materials are retained in a cycle so that they can be continually reused, instead of disposing of them in a way that makes them unusable. Another way of describing this is the term “circular business model”.

The circular economy differs from the still-widespread linear economy, in which resources are consumed to make products that are used and then disposed of. This form of economy represents a “dead end” for raw materials, while the circular economy looks for innovative ways to recycle as many materials as possible using a variety of methods, returning them to the cycle again and again and thus increasing sustainability. The goal of this approach is to decouple the economy from the consumption of finite raw materials.

What is the goal of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s approach to the circular economy?

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has set the following objectives for its work on the circular economy:

1. Prevent waste and environmental pollution from the outset, particularly by eliminating unnecessary packaging.

2. Keep materials, particularly plastics, and products in the cycle of use to ensure that they do not harm the environment, i.e. continually recycle them in a circular production loop inside the value chain. That might be in the technical cycle (reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling of wood, plastic or metals, for example in industry) or in the biological cycle (returning biodegradable materials to the earth via composting or decomposing processes).

Produkte im Kreislauf der Nutzung

3. Regenerate natural systems by supporting natural processes and creating more space for nature in order to rebuild the soil and increase biodiversity, for example. Recycling materials also has the potential to reduce the amount of untreated raw materials that are consumed, as well as to restore (recultivate) more ecosystems.

What are the benefits of a circular economy for companies?

Companies benefit from the transition to a circular economy in several ways. As well as considerations of sustainability and environmental protection, which are of crucial long-term significance, the circular economy also has the potential to:

  • reduce rubbish, resulting in less pollution of the environment and lower disposal and landfill costs,
  • prevent waste by using raw materials more than once and in a more sustainable way,
  • and reduce the need for new, untreated raw materials through recycling, saving on energy and costs.

Being a corporate member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation like uvex in order to promote the circular economy also brings the following advantages:

  • Be part of a global network of governments, experts and companies: this is a great opportunity to learn, make inspiring contacts and benefit from the experience of others.
  • Use innovative strategies to advance your business development in terms of sustainability, and make forward-looking decisions on the basis of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s expertise and research on the circular economy.
  • Be inspired to foster innovation by developing new technologies and future-proof solutions that protect the environment and use resources more effectively.

uvex - part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation community

The collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is an important step in uvex’s journey towards making its product developments and everyday business activities even more sustainable and forward-looking. The circular economy is already an established part of our #protectingplanet mission: we use compostable materials, recycled materials and recyclable, environmentally friendly packaging.

uvex is proud to be part of this inspiring initiative and we look forward to working towards our sustainability goals and driving positive change in the world. Together we can make the future better!

How can my company become part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation?

If you would like to be part of the network as a company or local government organisation, you can apply as a company, start-up, city council or local authority on the relevant network page for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The registration conditions can also be found on the website. After evaluating your application, the Foundation will contact you if they believe there is potential for a membership, partnership or strategic partnership. If you are interested in a philanthropic partnership, you can contact the Foundation via email at

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