WHAT IS A CIRCULAR ECONOMY?
Because the world population continues to grow, the demand for raw materials has skyrocketed.
We’re now at the point where the planet can no longer keep up. To make matters worse, the supply of crucial raw materials is limited, which means that some countries are dependent on others for their needs. Further, the extraction and usage of raw materials greatly impact our environment, increasing CO2 emissions and energy consumption.
Making use of a Circular Economy is our best chance of lowering CO2 emissions and preserving the life of our planet.
What Is a Circular Economy?
Outside of the overly extractive industrial model, the circular economy focuses on benefiting the whole society and aims to redefine economic growth. It proposes a way of becoming unattached to the consumption of our finite resources while gradually taking waste out of the current system. It is also centered on transitioning to renewable sources of energy; the circular model builds natural, social, and economic capital. Furthermore, it is based on these three principles:
Regenerating natural systems
Keep materials and products in use
Design out pollution and waste
How Is It Relevant to the Present Times?
While the circular economy isn’t a new concept, it has gotten much attention in the past few years due to issues regarding resource scarcity, waste, and climate change becoming highly urgent.
One such example of our environmental impact is how manufactured materials on Earth currently weigh as much as the living things on our planet. Thankfully, a circular economy can address such problems.
Furthermore, having a circular economy brings new economic advantages. It uses “waste” as a resource to show how much value we lose in today’s linear economy. Unfortunately, only 8.6% of the resources we use today will be recycled for future use. The rest of it goes by the linear economy’s route, which is to be discarded, then replaced with something new.
What Activities are Being Done to Promote a Circular Economy?
Today, there are various things that we can do to promote a circular economy and ensure that everything we purchase and utilize is put to good use.
Using waste as a resource: In this way, every biodegradable material can return to nature while non-biodegradable items are reused.
Second use: This process reintroduces products that no longer serve the purpose of the initial consumer’s needs.
Reuse: Here, certain products or parts that still work are reused to create something new.
Reparation: This process allows us to find damaged products to serve a different purpose.
Recycle: This allows us to make use of materials found in waste.
Valorization: Makes use of the energy harnessed from waste that can’t be recycled.
Energy from renewable sources: This process allows the elimination of fossil fuels to produce a product.
Eco-design: This is used to consider and integrate the environmental impact of a product that’s created.
Industrial and territorial ecology: This involves the establishment of an industrial-organizational method that aims to optimize the management of energy, stocks, materials, and services.
While it may not be the current economic model used today, there are various things that you can do to help toward the transition to a circular economy. By finding ways to recover resources through composting, recycling, or remanufacturing, you are taking back value to your home or business. Companies have also seen great benefits as a result of making products from waste.
Having a circular economy makes it possible to grow without relying on limited resources.