Products need to be valued more for their entire life cycles – from raw material extraction through manufacturing, usage and back again – and not just their immediate function. With the rising concern for the environment, your actions today in protecting resources and recycling materials may have long-term implications tomorrow. A circular economy is a system that aims to reduce the environmental impact of industrial production by promoting stewardship and durability in the way you use resources. The concept is based on a strong focus on waste prevention, resource efficiency and recycling of materials.
Circularity keeps products and materials at their highest utility, distinguishing between technical and biological cycles. It means that products can be repaired, reused, remanufactured or recycled rather than thrown away. It aims to keep valuable materials in use for as long as possible and maximise their utility by using them often. It also involves creating multiple new benefits for society through improved resource efficiency in all sectors of the economy.
Reuse of products and materials
One of the critical features of circularity is reuse. Reuse is an important part, and it is achieved in several ways. For example, you can repair or refurbish a product to use it again. Reusing products does not necessarily mean buying second-hand items; rather than discarding materials after use, it is possible to recover some value from them through reuse or repurposing.
Products designed for durability and ease of recycling
Circularity is a design philosophy that prioritises sustainability and environmental protection. Products are designed for durability, reuse, and ease of recycling to minimise waste. In addition to being more durable, many products made with recycled material also look just as nice when they are new as those made with virgin materials.
A circular economy can drive profitability
Circularity can help companies become more profitable. A sustainable business model can help companies reduce costs, increase revenues and build a competitive advantage. For example, companies can create new models by developing new products and services that use recycled materials or are designed for reuse or recycling.
Circularity can address the needs of society by creating new jobs, driving growth and yielding social benefits in addition to improved environmental outcomes. It is not just one thing but a system of systems where the links between them must be carefully considered to ensure the overall goals are achieved.
Benefits of circularity
To truly reap the benefits of being sustainable, you must consider all aspects – from supply chains and production processes to product use and disposal.
A move to sustainability is essential if you want to ramp up your efforts towards decarbonisation while making meaningful progress in tackling pollution and waste. You cannot do without it!
To achieve this goal without any technological breakthroughs, you must make better use of natural resources and reduce unnecessary waste throughout their life cycle – from extraction through production and consumption to recycling or disposal.
There is no time to waste. It would be best to protect the planet and its people from the outcomes of climate change and other environmental impacts. A circular economy is not just about protecting the planet for future generations but also an economic opportunity that could benefit businesses, communities and households worldwide. The moment has come for all stakeholders to work together to achieve these benefits sooner or later.