Back to the fundamentals. We’re leading the charge to the Circular Economy, but not everyone knows that the Circular Economy is.
The circular economy is one where waste and pollution are designed out of the system. Additions of new resources, waste, pollution and energy are all minimised, with the system reusing materials and creating processes that are as efficient as possible.
This is the vital replacement of the old linear model, where we took virgin materials from the land, made new products and then disposed of them. To make the most of finite resources and to leave a healthy planet for the next generation, the time is now to move to the new circular future.
The products we use, buy and sell won’t extract resources from the environment and will minimise harm from industrial pollution or energy waste. Products will be made to last, repaired, and re-used and after that product’s, the materials are kept in the system, recycled into something new.
In many ways, the circular economy replicates what we already see in nature. There’s no waste in nature, just a loop that feeds back on itself.
There’s no waste in nature, only efficient systems like the Nitrogen Cycle.
In our economy, this efficiency is created by design: we chose to use only materials from existing waste streams; products are designed to be easily re-recycled, with production that minimises pollution. Material choices and processes are created with multiple generations of application in mind: these bottles reborn to make our t-shirt fabric; those t-shirts can become this chair; then that chair given new life as your new floor.
How to get a used product back is then a fundamental consideration for business alongside how to get something ‘new’ to a customer. When we avoid virgin materials, producers need to concern themselves with the supply of materials they need to make their products. Their own products will become a prime source, and by integrating the collection of their own waste into their supply, the difficult task of recycling is made much more efficient. Plus, once a producer knows they can get back the material they use, the incentive to use higher value materials increases, as companies plan for multiple generations of application, which leads to new innovations and better products.