My PhD focuses on the often underacknowledged role of consumers within circular economies. I am interested in exploring the relationship between circular economy governance visions and the everyday consumption practices of individuals. The circular economy has been lauded as having potential to radically restructure existing production and consumption systems, but the current body of literature tends to focus on the technical, structural and theoretical aspects of the concept. In contrast, this research will provide a much needed critical, social and empirical insight into the everday tangible realities of consumption in a circular economy context.
This PhD will be structured around a comparitive case study of Ireland and Wales, two neighbouring countries who have recently voiced substantial circular economy ambitions. I will focus on how these circular economy ‘visions’ expressed in governance and policy impact the individual’s consumption practices, specifically their socio-material relationships with consumption practices.