I would like to start this article with a quote from the UN Brundland report, “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 

The way we currently produce and consume goods is unsustainable. Not only does this have a negative impact on the environment, but it also costs us billions of dollars every year in waste management. The good news is that there’s a better way: the circular economy

In a circular economy, we use resources more efficiently and stop producing so much waste by designing products with recycling in mind from the start. We’ve already started making this change happen with our food system and electronics industry. Now it’s catching on for other areas like clothing, transportation and some consumer goods.

If you’ve been reading up on the latest ways to reduce waste, save money, and lower your carbon footprint, you may have come across the term “circular economy”. The circular economy, or Eco-Economy as it is sometimes called, refers to a strategy focused on optimizing processes so that products are used repeatedly. This means they can be extracted and reused instead of being wasted.

The circular economy plays a big role in businesses because it can reduce the amount of waste they produce and cut down on their costs. It also has a huge impact on our environment. By implementing these strategies, you can help protect our natural resources for future generations while making your business more efficient at the same time. In the article, I will discuss the circular economy and share tips on can get involved.

What is the circular economy?

The circular economy is a system that aims to reduce the use of non-renewable resources and increase the use of materials that can be reused or recycled. It is a system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. It replaces the ‘end-of-life’ concept with restoration and renewal, hence the word “circular”.

Currently, most of our products are designed to be used once, then thrown away. This model is unsustainable because it requires constant consumption of natural resources to keep up with demand. The circular economy aims to change this by making it easier for companies and consumers alike to make sustainable choices.

Regulatory authorities in different countries adopt different areas of priority for the adoption of circular economy principles. The UAE for example has adopted for main areas of priority as shown in the chart below.

The circular economy is not a new idea; it has been widespread in academia for decades now. The idea of decreasing the quantity of waste and resource usage has been in the public consciousness for a long time too, so why is the circular economy starting to really emerge only now? There are three major trends behind the phenomenon, which together are the drivers of the circular economy: 

How is the circular economy better for the environment?

The main reason the circular economy is better for the environment is that it minimises waste. When you consider all of the resources used to create products and deliver them to us, you’re left with a lot of waste. This can be harmful on multiple levels: 

The circular economy deals with this problem by finding new ways to use materials, so they are not wasted in their current form. 

 

impact of unsustainable resource utilization

Instead of creating new products from scratch every time you need something—which would result in a huge amount of pollution—you reuse old materials to make something new again (or make them into something else entirely). For example, reusing plastic waste items to create footwear and clothing as done by companies like Rens and Dgrade respectively. 

How are companies contributing to a circular economy?

How can I contribute to a circular economy?

We can all play a part in saving our environment through the circular economy.

The circular economy is all about reducing our carbon footprint, and that starts with you. If you want to do your bit for the environment and reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfill sites, here are a few actions to get started with:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This is the mantra of the circular economy—and it’s one we should all be taking to heart. Here are some ways you can reduce your waste and help the planet:

The recycling symbol and number for different types of plastic are provided below to guide you.

Plastic recycling symbols and what they mean

Conclusion

I hope that you have found this article useful and informative. The circular economy is a new way of thinking about how we use resources, but it can be applied to many different aspects of our lives. From cleaning up your own home to recycling more often, there are lots of ways for us all to contribute towards an environmentally friendly future!

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