by Lola
Circular Economy picture

All of us know that our current economic system is unsustainable, as all we do is take resources from nature to create products. The worst part is? We use and throw away without the possibility of giving them a second life. 

Do you know how it’s called this economic system? Linear, and it causes horrible environmental problems. 

This unsustainable way of living is present in most countries nowadays. They behave as if resources are unlimited and that there is no problem with all the waste.

The sad situation of Europe

In the European Union, more than 2.5 billion tons of waste is produced every year. It is believed that if every person on earth used the number of resources that Europeans do, we would need more than 2.5 planets.

Circular Economy

However, each day more people are becoming conscious of the limitations of the earth’s resources and the consequences of our actions.

The answer to our problems

Recently a new philosophy and a more sustainable economic system has been created called: the circular economy. 

You might be wondering, so what is a circular economy? A circular economy is a system that believes in the necessity of designing out the waste and pollution that we generate. To continue keeping products and materials in use.

Do you know the Ellen MacArthur Foundation?

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation considers that the following three principles are the base of this new system. First, design out waste and pollution, changing our mindset to understand waste design defects. Next, keep products and materials in use, if we design them correctly, we could reuse, repair, and remanufacture. Finally, regenerate natural systems, is essential to find a way to return valuable nutrients to the ecosystem. 

The benefits of the circular economy

So what would be the benefit of implementing this type of economic mindset to all the countries in the world? Well, there would be a considerately large number of benefits to the environment, society, and the economy. 

Enviromental benefits

First and foremost, it helps to fight climate change, as we would decrease greenhouse gases; with a circular economy, we would cut these emissions.

It would not be as necessary to use as much energy and resources to produce as many products, as they would just not end up in landfills or in an incinerator.

So, in other words, this system saves resources by keeping our products and materials in use for longer periods and reusing and recycling them.

What is the point of doing this? To reduce waste, this is essential as pollution is harming the environment horribly. 

Economical and social benefits

There are some real benefits for the planet with the circular economy, but there are also benefits for society and the economy. According to a recent study by Cambridge Econometrics, “the circular economy has the potential to increase the EU’s GDP by an additional 0’5% and create around 700.000 new jobs by 2030.”

The current global competition for natural resources increases their price levels. So, by implementing more sustainable strategies, companies and states could benefit from the circular economy.

There could be an overall reduction of pressure on the environment, an increase in the supply of raw materials, an increase in competitiveness, stimulation of innovation, and a boost of economic growth. 

The European Commission has planned to establish some sustainability measures to regulate certain economic and environmental aspects, such as the durability and reusability of the products, the limitation of single-use items, the ban on destroying unsold goods, and the reduction of carbon emissions and environmental impact. 

Nest Mobile Phone Recycle Circular Economy

Consumers also could enjoy the benefits of the circular economy, as they would have more durable and innovative products. This increases the product’s life and saves them a lot of money in the long term.

Do you need more convincing? The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that several thousand euros are saved per household in a circular economy every year. 

Is it a utopia? Or can it be a reality?

Undoubtedly, the circular economy is a clear answer to get to live in a more sustainable society. Nonetheless, could it actually be a reality? My answer is yes. Why? Well, Different companies from different sectors are increasingly implementing strategies related to the philosophy of the circular economy.

For example, Kalundborg Symbiosis is the world’s first working industrial symbiosis, and their main principle is “the residue from one company becomes a resource at another. This benefits both the environment and the economy”; so, through local collaboration, companies buy and sell residual products

This symbiosis center helps them to reduce costs and emissions and be more competitive and resilient companies. Another example that you might know is the GoMore app, which enables people that need to travel but don’t have a car to join a driver who goes to the same destination. This platform helps to increase the number of people in cars, making these trips environmentally more efficient.

Renewable enery Circular Economy

Nonetheless, I have always believed that you don’t need to be an entrepreneur to involve yourself in this way of living.

As we have mentioned before, the circular economy involves some simple principles, so why don’t we implement them on a daily basis?

What I would do first is to try to cut as much as possible of all the products that are likely to be thrown away after one use, like plastic bags and plates, plastic straws, coffee capsules, plastic bottles, etc.

Some tips that might help you

There are so many easy alternatives that we can introduce to our lifestyle to be more sustainable.

For example, instead of buying a bottle of water each time that you go to the supermarket, buy a reusable water bottle. Would it not be a good idea to buy a reusable grocery bag, instead of always needing to ask for a plastic bag when we do our groceries?

As you can see there are many options that we could introduce to our lives to be more sustainable. However, it is not enough to simply reduce the use of certain products, we also need to try reusing them. Instead of throwing away those trousers that you bought last year, why don’t you give them to a charity shop? Someone might love those trousers, and in this way, they will not need to buy new ones. You could do the same with old books or toys that you have at home; so, we can reduce the waste and the use of resources reduced, so it wouldn’t be necessary to produce more items. 

Final conclusion

In addition, repairing and recycling materials are also essential to help the environment.

Even though there are times when a product’s life has come to an end, we can still recycle the products.

In conclusion, the circular economy is a great solution to many of the problems that we have nowadays. Not only does it create business opportunities, but also it helps to not waste the already limited resources.

However, even if we know we must implement more sustainable strategies, the world is still only 8.6% circular. So, what are we waiting for? 

What do you think about Circular Economy?

Tell me what you think in the comments or on my Instagram page!

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