“Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. We are all connected in the Great Circle of Life” - Mufasa, Lion King
You might have heard some big brands out there speaking about closing the loop. Today we will have closer look at eco-kids cool buzz word aka “the circular economy”. We also want to share with you our input as business and a few tips on how to minimise your waste on a daily basis.
Sounds like proper snooze fest? Well, you could not be more wrong my pal. Believe me, it is actually pretty enlightening and actually super important in creating a sustainable, green and happy future, so stick with me!
First things first, there are three types of economic systems when it comes to product production, use and disposal: linear, recycling and circular.
- A linear economy was where we were at in the UK, say, 20 years ago. The pretty conservative way of consuming: the product was made, the customer was buying and using it and then it was simply thrown away, most likely ending in the landfill. It means that all materials used in the creation of products are disposed of relatively fast and in the result create lots and lost of waste. Not great really.
- Years later, after noticing the problem of growing waste we moved to a recycling economy (Yey!). A more sustainable system where products, or parts of it, after use are being reused to make new stuff whenever possible or at least are being disposed of in a more responsible way (think waste segregation for example). That is way better, however not ideal as we still produce a significant amount of waste as not everything can be fully recycled and some disposal processes can be cost and time consuming for the companies. That is the place we are now basically.
Last but not least the eco-haven - circular economy. The system in which products and services are designed smartly with their life cycle in mind and in a way to maximise their value and minimise waste. It’s a holistic approach to life and business, where everything has purpose and nothing is wasted. In simple terms, it can be explained as 'make, use, repair/ reuse”' as opposed to 'make, use, dispose'. Sounds like a dream, right?
Besides the obvious benefits for the environment, there are many other positive changes that the circular system can bring to the economy, our society and lives. It can maximise product quality and lifetime, increase productivity and create employment opportunities while reducing the country’s carbon emissions and preserving valuable raw materials.
The main challenge is that in order to create a coexisting working system like that, everyone - businesses, organisations and consumers, need to get involved and show a high level of collaboration, understanding and responsibility. It might sound utopian but there is nothing more motivating than a healthy, green and sustainable future for all :)
If you are interested in finding out more about the circular economy, check out these resources:
- The Ellen McArthur Foundation: https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/
- Zero Waste Scotland website: https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/circular-economy/what-it-is