Do you ever take a step back and evaluate the amount of trash you throw away daily? Here is a rough estimate if this is your first time trying this. Annually, the globe produces 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid trash, according to the World Bank. The rate at which humans generate trash is significantly higher than the rate at which Earth can process it. This never-ending cycle of waste is the fault of not just industry but also people’s “create, consume, and discard” way of life. A transition to a circular economy, which has long been proposed as a solution, is the best bet for fixing this issue. To that end, what is Circularity, and how does it benefit companies?
What is Circular Economy?
The principles of a circular economy are conducive to long-term economic health. It uses, recycles, fixes, refurbishes, redistributes, and reuses. Thus, resources are utilised as efficiently as possible and are not wasted.
The concept of regeneration humans observe in nature is appropriate for food production. Since everything is used in some other cycle, no garbage is left over. In the woods, you can find fruit trees that grow and bear fruit. The tree serves as a food source for various animals and other organisms. The soil is then fertilised by decomposing any remaining fruit, which helps new plants flourish. The life and death of plants (and all matter) is a closed, self-sustaining system that is part of the natural cycle.
This is what Circularity would look like. This general notion has several potential applications; one instance is the fashion industry, where each garment is created to be reused and recycled from the start.
In contrast to the existing linear economic model, which is where humans are now (making stuff, utilising it, and then throwing it away), a circular economic model would be ideal. The linear model has far-reaching consequences; it worsens environmental damage, depletes resources, and widens global economic and social gaps.
Benefits of a Circular Economy
Reduces the Use of Non-Renewable Resources
Experts have highlighted the risks of overusing finite resources for decades.
Nonrenewable resources, such as oil and metal ores, are being used at an unprecedented rate. This can’t go on forever. In a circular economy, it is the standard to recycle rather than discard materials and to put previously used items back into circulation. Therefore, you will waste less of your precious nonrenewable resources.
Lowers Carbon Emissions
The European Environment Agency estimates that the production and disposal of materials (materials management) account for 60-80% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Since the foundation of circularity is the efficient reuse and recycling of resources, it can aid in reducing such waste. By reusing items and materials, encouraging renewable resources, preserving sustainable behaviours, and so on, a circular economy helps manage the world’s finite resources better.
Aims Towards Waste Minimisation
Reusing materials and goods is fundamental to a circular economy and can eventually lead to a model with no waste.
Everyone stands to gain from this.
If people can achieve zero waste, they can reduce the amount of rubbish that ends up in the ocean and the number of landfills they need. Additionally, this implies they can put less emphasis on extracting scarce materials and instead put that effort into finding new applications for old ones.
The circular economy model promotes expansion, unlike many environmental models that call for contraction to achieve zero waste. Because of this, it’s a great way for businesses, people, and governments to work together to improve the environment.
Existing businesses can benefit from a more stable supply of resources by reusing resources instead of relying on finite resources. This might lead to a drop in material costs, which would help businesses save money and increase productivity. The practice might increase patronage as well.
Customers today are more likely to stick with businesses whose values they believe in, and environmental sustainability is a major factor in this. You may attract more clients and earn loyalty by shifting to a greener company strategy.
Creating a circular economy is a massive task that will involve the cooperation of people, organisations, and governments all across the world.