A circular economy is an economy where individuals reuse their resources and put those resources back into the economy instead of throwing them away. A circular economy is founded on three principles: eliminating waste and pollution, circulating materials and products, and regenerating nature.
In our current economy, individuals take materials from the earth, make products from those materials, and ultimately throw them away. In a circular economy, individuals stop waste from being produced in the first place. Below, we define a circular economy and discuss its importance.
What Is a Circular Economy?
If you are asking yourself, “what is a circular economy?” then you are in the right place. A circular economy (also known as circularity or CE) is an economic model that involves:
- Refurbishing, and
- Recycling existing products and materials as long as possible.
A circular economy seeks to address global challenges such as pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change by eliminating pollution and waste, circulating materials and products, and regenerating nature.
Why Is a Circular Economy Important?
Now that we have answered, “what is a circular economy?” Let’s discuss why it is important. A circular economy is important because it:
Aims for Zero Waste
A circular economy aims for zero waste by reusing products and resources — benefiting everyone. Zero waste means fewer landfills, less energy-related emissions, fewer ocean-bound plastics, and less trash in our oceans. Zero waste also means there is little to no need to mine limited resources because we reuse the resources.
Lowers Carbon Emissions
Material management (i.e., the disposal and production of materials) is the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
A circular economy can help minimize greenhouse gas emissions since it upholds the sustainable management of materials. In a circular economy, materials are managed properly through reusing products and materials and upholding sustainable practices.
Reduces the Use of Non-Renewable Resources
For years, scientists have been advising us not to overuse limited resources.
Today, we continue to use non-renewable resources like petroleum and oil as if we have an endless supply, which is not sustainable. A sustainable economy upholds practices such as refurbishing old products and reusing resources instead of throwing them away. In turn, we end up using fewer non-renewable resources.
Opens New Opportunities for Organization
A circular economy opens new opportunities for organizations. One such opportunity is more job availability, such as collecting used resources like electronics and clothing and refurbishing old items.
Organizations can also enjoy a steadier and more secure supply of resources since we will reuse our current resources instead of relying on limited resources. This may decrease the cost of products and materials, allowing organizations to run more efficiently.
Be Part of the Circular Economy
As you can see, a circular economy offers many benefits, and there is no reason why we should not start moving toward a circular economy model. Achieving a circular economy is not child’s play; it requires a worldwide effort from individuals, companies, and organizations to achieve. With the right actions in place, we can achieve a circular economy while achieving the most pressing environmental goals.