Recent reports, in New Scientist amongst other sources, say that the Chinese are adapting to circular economy ideas. Here is a report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation itself, including this link to ChinaDaily which reports ...
The park includes three "recycling circles". One is a clean production circle in every plant to maximize the use of resources. Another is a re-use circle among different plants to realize the efficient interchange of materials. The last is the information circle, which offers timely information about recycling.
In essence, all the plants in the park form an integrated network where the wastes of factory A become the materials of factory B. Through the smooth operation of the three circles, in Jilin Chemical Engineering Circular Economy Park, there are more than 100 products. Over 60 of them are produced on a large scale, and have certain quotas in domestic markets. The provincial government approved the park in Jilin city in October 2008. Its goal was to exploit to the fullest the city's existing industrial advantage by forming a scaled petrochemical plant base, thereby promoting the economic development of Northeast China as a whole.
At present, 238 companies, including Jilin Petrochemical Company under PetrolChina, Jilin Fuel Ethanol Co Ltd and Jilin Chemical Fiber Group Co, have settled in the park. Meanwhile, eight industrial chains have been formed, covering oil refining, refined chemical, bio-chemical fields, and offer 115 kinds of refining products. These abundant and varied chemical products guarantee the sustained development of the whole industry in Jilin province.
Evidence of an idea catching on, it would seem. I trust that China can resist siren calls for ECE [Education for a Circular Economy], but do wonder whether there are any educational policy changes afoot to go along with this industrial strategy.