The concept of circular economy has been promoted for some time as a practical and straightforward solution to the imminent resource crunch. As a species, humans have long been using resources at a faster rate than the planet can replenish them. We currently consume an already unsustainable rate soil resources and this is expected to increase annually if our consumption habits continue unabated.
A circular economy, which instead of being dumped in a landfill, encouraged waste being to reuse again in the production cycle. At this time, is consumed up to 90 percent of the raw materials in the production of consumer goods, even before the product has left the factory. It is estimated that an additional 80 percent of the products are discarded in the first six months of life. These are the main causal factors in our unsustainable rate in the consumption of plastics and other raw materials.
What about recycling?
The circular economy goes far beyond traditional recycling. The latter is a welcome change from the usual ‘take-make-dispose’ model, but recycling is generally energy-intensive and its processes usually “downgrade” materials. This fails to reduce the enormous demand for new raw materials. Circular economies, instead, involve a total overhaul of our industrial system with the key objective of designing waste out of production cycle. Indeed, reusing and re-manufacturing are often less energy-intensive processes than recycling, and minimisation of energy wastage is just as important as reducing resource waste.
Research and analysis carried out by officials has found that a truly circular economy is closer than ever before.
The plan to finish the journey towards a restorative industrial system involves not only increasing the amount re-used, but also reducing the volume of material inputs, and thus a reduction in both production and consumption.