What does a Circular Economy look like?

Day 172 – On Day 96, I wrote about the circular economy. However, I believe this topic deserves more attention. So, I’m writing again about the importance of a circular economy and what needs to be done to achieve one.

Sadly, 62% of consumers say that they are unfamiliar with the term “circular economy”. To better understand a circular economy, we need to understand a linear economy. In the linear economy, resources are extracted and turned into products that are disposed of at the end of their useful life. Many think that a circular economy is the same thing as recycling. Though, recycling is important, a circular economy involves so much more.

“The circular economy promotes the use of as many biodegradable materials as possible in the manufacture of products -biological nutrients- so they can get back to nature without causing environmental damage at the end of their useful life. When it is not possible to use eco-friendly materials -technical nutrients: electronics, hardware, batteries… – the aim is to facilitate a simple uncoupling to give them a new life by reintroducing them into the production cycle and compose a new piece. When this is not possible, it will be recycled in a respectful way with the environment.” – ActiveSustainability.com

In order for a circular economy to work, we need companies in critical sectors to improve their processes to make an impact.

  1. The Built Environment: Provide green renovation and the upgrade of buildings; improve building material recycling infrastructure.
  2. Plastics: Provide innovative alternatives and recycled packaging; improve the collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure.
  3. Fashion: Create rental and resale business models for clothing; improve the collection, sorting, and recycling infrastructure.
  4. Food: Support farmer transition to regenerative agriculture; support food surplus and by-production collection and redistribution.

Consumers will also need to take action to support a circular economy.

  1. Buy less. Don’t just buy less stuff, buy less electricity; less house; fewer, smaller cars. Take only what you need.
  2. Buy better. When you shop, buy the best quality you can afford or buy secondhand. Prioritize quality over quantity.
  3. Use what you buy more. It’s not about how long something sits in your closet or garage before you pass it on. It’s about making full use of the resources you consume. Wear out your clothes, repair household items and refresh instead of replacing dated décor. And when you can’t get any more use out of an item, recycle it whenever possible.

Shifting to the circular economy would change the trajectory of our climate crisis and growing economic instability. Now is the moment to invest in a circular economy model. If everyone embraces this opportunity, the next generations will be able to enjoy the economic, environmental and societal benefits of sustainable living.

Tomorrow, reasons why we should be protecting the rainforests.

4 thoughts on “What does a Circular Economy look like?

  1. Sustain blog June 22, 2021 / 2:38 am

    Circular Economy is the talking point of the future. Thank you 😊

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s