Day 96 – You find that your shampoo bottle is just about empty. So, you take it to your local store and refill the same bottle. No need to toss the old bottle and buy a new one.
You order takeout from your favorite restaurant and your food is given in reusable containers. When you bring back the containers, you get back the deposit that was paid when the order was placed. Those containers are then sanitized and used again for another order.
These two scenarios are examples of a circular economy. The circular economy is a closed loop system where the focus is on eliminating waste by reusing, recycling and refurbishment of equipment, products, machinery and infrastructure for a longer duration. Currently, only 9% of the world’s economy is circular. It’s calculated that the opportunity to profit from the conversion of the remaining 91% sits around $4.5 trillion.
A circular economy is based on three principles:
- Design out waste and pollution
- Keep products and materials in use
- Regenerate natural systems
A circular economy is not only good for the planet, but it is also beneficial to the companies implementing the system and for the consumers. Reusing resources is much more cost effective than creating them from scratch. As a result, production prices are reduced, so that the sale price is also lowered, thereby benefiting the consumer.
The days of the linear economy needs to come to an end. The planet can no longer withstand more waste. We have reached a threshold and changes need to be made. As consumers, we need to demand the use of a circular economy.
Many businesses are paving the way. From edible cutlery, to farm waste being used to create building material, companies are finding ways to reuse, reduce and recycle.
Loop is one example of companies that are using the circular economy system to bring grocery and household items to consumers. By offering their clients reusable containers, there is no waste produced from consuming these products.
So, what is preventing us from becoming a 100% circular economy?
Sadly, the answer is, us. Our behavior and attitude toward this type of economy needs to change. We need to stop buying new and tossing our unwanted items into the trash.
There are five actions that will help consumers to choose products and services that are better for the environment and, at the same time, provide monetary savings and an increased quality of life: (outlined by ECO Soluciones)
- Promote energy savings as well as the efficiency, durability and recyclability of products.
- Improve the enforcement of existing RULES on guarantees and tackle false “green claims.”
- Support an increasing focus on “buying green” by governments and public bodies.
- Improve reliable and adequate consumer information.
- Increase the demand of products and services that are supportive of the circular economy, which will create new business opportunities.
The time is now! Help close the loop. Help save the planet.
Tomorrow, the effects of shipping our trash around the world.