What is the circular economy?
published on 01.12.20
Extract, produce, consume, dispose: these four words summarize the linear economy, in other words, the currently predominant economic model.
Our way of producing and consuming consists of taking raw materials from nature and converting them into new products, which are then discarded into the environment. In this way, resources are sooner or later exhausted, generating a large amount of waste. Due to the climate emergency, it is increasingly urgent to seek alternatives to the linear economy model, and one of these alternatives is to promote a change towards a circular economy model.
How does it work?
In a circular economy system, the materials to manufacture new products come from old products, which are reused, giving new life to resources and without generating so much waste. This process involves thinking about consumer goods from the beginning so that they last as long as possible, to be efficient and re-usable, relocating the waste from the end of the supply chain to the beginning of it.
This model takes into account, from the design of the product, how every one of its parts will be reused, and what will happen to them when they are no longer useful.This is why, to achieve a system change, a shift in our consumption habits and in the way companies produce is also necessary.
The circular economy also implies avoiding hyper-consumerism, that is, consuming what we need, always betting on the most sustainable products.
Sustainable Development Goals
Everything indicates that the future is moving in this direction. In fact, in 2015 the Member States of the United Nations approved the Sustainable Development Goals (SDA), with the final objectives of eradicating poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity. These SDA include specific targets to be achieved by 2030. Thanks to this commitment, both the public and private sectors around the world are getting involved and taking concrete actions with the SDA in mind. The practices of the circular economy can help achieve many of the UN’s goals, which is why the SDA are contributing so much to the transition to a circular economy at the global level.